How Do The Effective Meetings

Effective business meetings are an exercise in communication: we speak, we listen, we discuss, we decide. Meeting rules may vary from one situation to another, but holding effective meetings is essential to getting things done. If you want to learn how to conduct a meeting, here are nine simple ways to help you through the process.

1. Call only necessary meetings

Before you begin the whole process of calling and holding a business meeting, ask yourself if it is really necessary. Do certain people actually have to gather in the same room to accomplish your purpose, or could a series of phone calls or an email serve the same purpose? Develop a reputation for calling meetings only when necessary, and people will be more willing to devote their time to them.

2. Invite the right people

Invite people who have something to contribute or who need to be involved in the discussion. If you have to consult someone for information or authorisation about an agenda item and that person is not there, it’s frustrating for everyone. Consider inviting them just for a specific agenda item. On the other hand, don’t invite people just because they are at a certain level in the organisation. Busy people appreciate your consideration of their time.

3. Create an effective agenda and distribute it well before the meeting

An effective agenda is much more than a list of topics. It can function as a meeting announcement, as well as a tool to help the meeting organiser  control the discussion. Sending it out in advance lets people know what will be discussed and gives them an opportunity to gather information they will need and prepare their input. Effective meetings begin with effective agendas.

4. Start and finish on time

Don’t wait for latecomers – start on time without them. You should also avoid the temptation to bring latecomers up to date on what has taken place before they arrived, a practice that penalises those who came on time. People shouldn’t be rewarded for upsetting everyone else’s schedule. Allot time to each subject on the agenda and stick to it. Effective business meetings start and finish on time.

5. State the objective at the start of the meeting

State an objective that is results-oriented rather than discussion-based. e.g. “We are meeting this morning to approve the final budget for next quarter.” This is a measurable objective, toward which you can work during the discussion. Don’t say, “We are meeting to discuss…” After all, you could discuss for hours and technically you would have met your objective, but you could hardly describe it as an effective meeting.

6. Keep the meeting moving toward its objective

Don’t let people drag the discussion off track. Keep reminding them of the objective and redirect the discussion back when they stray. Your communication skills come to the fore as you lead a business meeting.