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Effective Business Meetings

       Your Guide to Effective Business Meetings

Business meetings can be productive and  effective or they can be a waste of time. Many  find them boring or a way to get out of work. 

However, to have an effective business meeting you need to implement certain key things.

First of all, find a way to bring together the agenda of the meeting with your mission—what you want to accomplish. In other words, use your company’s mission statement to delve deeper into your business objectives and strategies. This should be the focal point of your meeting and your goals for the meeting. Then, bring to the meeting as much inspiration, energy and support that you can muster. Those at the meeting will pick up on your energy and motivation and it will spread to them. No one wants to come to a meeting that is cold, unsupportive or uninteresting. Good communication and sharing will help the meeting to stay lively and engaging.

Then, look for ways to improve communication and productivity at the meeting. At the meeting share and discuss new books, videos or articles that have recently come out—books and such that might bring new ideas to the meeting and the business at hand. And, hold your meetings often—not just now and then.

Also, keep your meetings brief—no more than an hour. Have your meetings take place at a certain time of the day and begin and end them promptly. This will keep things on track and will help you get things done in a timely manner. If anyone is late, let there be some brief discipline such as directing that person or persons in giving their report first. To have effective business meetings rules must be enforced.

Assign someone to take the minutes of the meeting. This is important because it details what happened at the last meeting, what is expected at the current meeting and be sure to also describe the goals of the meeting. Addressing the minutes of the meeting should be rotated to others at every meeting. This way everyone participates in the group meeting. In addition, at each meeting provide some kind of proof—some description of how the business is going such as using overhead slides, graphs or pictures of what has been going on since the last meeting. There are some who suggest having the person who reads the minutes—to do this. This provides for an even flow of information.

Be sure to be in control of the meeting. There is nothing worse than having several people in charge of the meeting, with many interruptions and finding out at the end of the meeting that nothing was accomplished. The one in charge needs to be forceful, assertive and work to keep things on track. And, be sure to document key decisions and make sure that they are distributed to everyone who is involved. This should be done soon after the meeting. In addition, keep debate and conflict issues productive and on a professional level. Discuss difficult topics with candor and once the topic has been discussed and ideas given to resolve the conflict or topic, then move on. Be careful not to attack the person but only attack the problem. 

Lastly, effective business meetings can be accomplished but only if everyone cooperates and contributes to the goals and mission of the meeting.   

Related Articles:

Effective Meetings

Effective Staff Meetings

Return from Effective Business Meetings to Effective Meetings

Outstanding Leaders consider themselves a work in progress
 Dr Franklin C. Ashby 

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