The meeting with room for improvement
Cast your mind back over the past couple of months, and without trying too hard, think about some of the business meetings you attended during that time period. Some may have almost vanished from memory, while you may recall others where time dragged. Every meeting is different from the last in terms of what’s discussed and what you take away from it. But all too often we can find ourselves in a meeting that goes on too long or doesn’t seem to enlighten.
And if a meeting doesn’t feel productive, then an opportunity has been lost. So the more we think about how meetings are conducted, the better the chances of holding meetings that have an increased chance of success.
Simple tips for improving business meetings
Getting the most out of meetings isn’t a complicated process. In fact it’s a very simple one. By thinking about your meetings in simple terms, it helps to avoid anything that distracts from the main topics of the meeting.
The first thing to think about is the purpose of your meeting. In other words, the why. Now, this could be anything from looking for ways to reduce energy consumption within the organisation, to forming a new business strategy. But whether the meeting’s purpose is big or small, it’s important to remember that the available time will be limited. So by keeping things focussed around the why, it suddenly becomes easier to envision the meeting running in a concise and concentrated manner.
So with the why all taken care of, it’s time to move on to the what. The objective is set, it’s now time to look at the things that need to be discussed. It might take a bit of time to sort out what goes where here, but a clear list of topics in the agenda will give everyone an idea of what’s to come. And they will also be able to do any preparation for the meeting beforehand.
It’s always worth looking at the list of proposed attendees for any meeting and making sure that nobody’s missing. Sometimes – for instance if the meeting involves creativity and brainstorming, then it often pays to have a vibrant mix of personalities in the room. And sometimes brining in unlikely attendees can spark discussion in new and interesting directions.
To maximise people’s alertness and concentration – and to help facilitate participation, bright airy rooms with comfortable seating are always a winner. And making people feel at home by offering tea and coffee also helps to break any ice and get people participating.
By following these simple tips, and by making sure the meeting starts and ends punctually, you’ll be well placed for meeting success.
About the author: Jen Jones writes for a range of blogs on behalf of AXA PPP healthcare, specialising in workplace wellbeing, business health care, and healthy eating.