Meetings are a significant method of communication in business organizations. They ensure two-way communication and since they happen in real-time getting feedback becomes much easier. With technology virtual meetings with participants from varied geographical locations have become possible and make communication more effective.
However, if you have been part of many business meetings you may have realized that a large number of meetings fail to achieve their goal. If not managed properly meetings can become nothing more than a place to socialize and can at times result in frustration.
Some ways to ensure effective meetings are:
Set a goal – Every meeting should have a goal that should be clear and pre-decided. The goals should be shared with all who are going to be involved in the meeting. The goals should be specified at the beginning of the meeting and meetings should not be adjourned till answers are found.
Prepare and Share the Agenda – For most formal meetings involving a large number of people, an agenda should be prepared. The agenda should contain all the points that are to be discussed in the meeting and the order in which the discussion is to take place. It should also give a realistic time frame for each topic of discussion.
Prepare for the Meeting – It is imperative that all participants to a meeting prepare in advance for it. Without preparation getting a positive outcome is difficult. Preparation could include making a note of points to discuss, jotting down ideas and views and collecting data for the meeting.
Discuss Related Issues – The agenda should be designed in such a manner that only related topics are discussed in a meeting. A meeting with a jumbled agenda is bound to get nowhere. Another advantage of discussing related topics is that focused attention is given to the topic and therefore more ideas can be generated.
Opening and Closing – The opening and closing of any communication are critical and the same is true for meetings. Outlining the agenda during opening will keep everyone focused. Similarly summarizing the discussion and the decisions at the end will give people a clear sense of action to be taken after the meeting.
Keeping these simple strategies in mind will result in effective and fruitful meetings.
The BizComm Model of Strengthscape delves into various nuances of business communication.