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The 16 keys to having effective business meetings

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The 16 keys to having effective business meetings

Work meetings are part of the daily life of all professionals. Nowadays, we invent meetings for everything. In recent years, this working mechanism has become the main resource of organizations for planning, problem solving, assigning tasks and evaluating results. The agendas of executives and business leaders became a kind of Tetris in which accommodating the largest number of meetings is the challenge. We all suffer from “reunionitis” and there are few of us who dare to question their efficiency, those of us who worry about perfecting them and, above all, those of us who propose to evaluate their contribution to business. Poorly managed meetings quickly become a waste of time, a threat to productivity, and an obstacle to achieving goals. The excess in this collaborative work mechanism has gradually become an excuse to dilute authority, to blur responsibility and to delay decisions. In companies it is recurrent that Taiwan Phone Number List meetings are called without being clear about a problem or the situation to be solved, ignoring – who cites them – that the meetings should be held to work on issues that cannot be resolved individually or with asynchronous collaborative processes . Even having said the above, the meetings are necessary for socialization and problem solving, and for evangelization from the leaders to the collaborators. This leads us to conclude that the problem is not the method, but who uses it. The meetings themselves are not the cause of unproductivity, what causes inefficiency is whoever cites a meeting without a clear direction or who abuses this way of working.

What are meetings for in a company?
With this article we propose to contribute to organizations and their leaders so that they can develop effective meetings; That is why we want to start by talking about the best uses that we can give to meetings as a collaborative work methodology – without affirming that these are the only ones, simply the ones that we believe are most important:

1. To synchronize groups with individual tasks, but with group results . There are many companies that use several people to solve a single problem. Many teams function like a production line, with each member handling a piece of the task. Well, meetings are very useful to synchronize these teams. In this case, the methodology becomes the appropriate setting to keep each of the members informed of progress, to find bottlenecks and to redesign actions based on the feedback and the results obtained.


2. To review, update and increase the general knowledge of the collaborators . Summoning all the members of the organization or representative members of each area, to transmit knowledge to them or to socialize the current affairs of the business, is another of the good uses that can be given to the meetings. These scenarios can also be used to confront opinions or points of view and thus raise the skills and knowledge of the group.

3. To understand collective goals and individual responsibilities . Companies must make constant efforts to improve the transmission and understanding of the information Forex Email List generated by them. Meetings are a great tool to achieve this, especially when it comes to communicating business strategies. With a well-planned meeting, all aspects of the strategy can be explained and discussed, saving time and reducing errors due to misinterpretations.

4. To create individual or collective commitments . The fourth of the appropriate uses for business meetings is the establishment of responsibilities. It’s a good idea to bring the team – or the leaders of each team – together to hear what their commitments will be for the future of the organization. Socializing responsibilities serves as motivation for individuals and for the group. Are business meetings efficient in companies? We asked ourselves this question and wanted to seek their answer in the companies with which we have permanent contact. To do this, we organized and carried out a small investigation – without statistical rigor in the selection of the sample. What we obtained seemed interesting to us and we share it in the following infographic: Are work meetings effective in your company? When reviewing and analyzing these results, we can draw two short conclusions: (i) most of the professionals surveyed agree that meetings add little value to companies and (ii) the inefficiency of this collaborative work methodology increases because planning processes , monitoring, analysis and optimization of the meetings themselves is almost nil.

How to make effective work meetings? To make a meeting efficient, you must work decisively in its preparation, execution and follow-up. Teams that don’t plan and analyze their meetings end up in a chain of encounters that consume their time and leave little to the business. In essence, what you must do is pay attention to the three moments of a meeting: before, during and after, to be clear about what you are looking for with the meeting. Next we will talk about these three moments and the tasks that must be carried out in each of them to support the optimization of the meetings:

1. Before the meeting
Planning a meeting is done by answering three specific questions: (i) what will the meeting be held for? It is necessary to clarify to all attendees what the objective of the meeting will be, and so that each one can prepare and, thus, shorten the time spent to put themselves in context. Some of the common reasons for meeting are: transmit information and facilitate understanding, build something as a team, receive feedback on actions carried out and the results obtained, or assign responsibilities and tasks to the group. (ii) What happens if the meeting is not held? Here you should discuss what would be the consequences for not holding the meeting. The idea is to test the need to bring the team together, because the meeting should always be the last option – in many cases the objectives can be achieved with an individual or asynchronous work plan. (iii) How will the achievement of the objective be evaluated? A method has to be defined that allows the subsequent evaluation of the efficiency of the meeting.

Once this initial stage of questioning and planning has been passed, the next phase of pre-meeting work is preparation. At this stage, three actions must be carried out: (i) the definition of the meeting attendees. The objective of this first point is to link as few people as possible. The success of a committee is inversely proportional to the number of attendees. (ii) The construction of the agenda. Here, a document must be created – to be sent in advance to the attendees – in which the urgent topics or those that require mental energy must be detailed first, to order the discussions logically. For example, it is not possible to discuss an advertising plan without first discussing the budget. (iii) The definition of the duration of the meeting. Finally, An estimate of the time that will be invested must be attached to the meeting appointment; clarifying the start and end time of the meeting. It is important that these times are respected to improve the productivity of the team. If more time is required, it is preferable to schedule another meeting and avoid attrition attendees.

2. During the meeting
In meetings, what is sought is individual presentation of ideas and collective discussion of decisions. To have a constructive and enriching debate, the best thing to do is: (i) make the audience clear and understand the problem or situation to be discussed. Before starting the discussion, the greatest amount of data associated with the problem to be solved must be exposed, so that they all start from the same context. Some of the questions that must be resolved in this induction to the problem are: why is it occurring? When did it start? How often does it occur? Has any action been taken? (ii) Open a space for each attendee to present their diagnosis of the situation. These presentations serve for the team to know all the points of view and approach the problem with more information. (iii) Provide a space for attendees to present possible solutions. Meetings that are open to ideas without prevention or restriction are the most productive. (iv) Allow all attendees to evaluate, individually, each of the possible solutions and express their opinions. It is not about creating a deliberative democracy, but a participatory one. And, finally, (v) lead the group to focus on making a decision. each of the possible solutions and express your opinions. It is not about creating a deliberative democracy, but a participatory one. And, finally, (v) lead the group to focus on making a decision. each of the possible solutions and express your opinions. It is not about creating a deliberative democracy, but a participatory one. And, finally, (v) lead the group to focus on making a decision.

3. After the meeting
A meeting does not end when the session is adjourned. In the last part of the meeting, the organizer must address the creation of a summary or minutes in which the following points should be included: (i) the day, time, place and attendees of the meeting; (ii) state the aspects that were discussed during the deliberation, the individualized comments and the conclusions obtained; (iii) list the assigned tasks, those responsible and the time that will be invested in their execution; (iv) define the mechanisms that will be used to monitor the tasks undertaken; and (v) the date, time and place of the next meeting.

The final 16 tips for having effective business meetings
Finally, we will present our best tips so that the efficiency of your meetings increases quickly:

1. Avoid at all costs that meetings become the mechanism used by employees to excel. Don’t fall into the trap of characters taking over the stage to create an idea competition. Instill in the team the correct use of this collaborative tool.

2. Meetings should have a time limit — hopefully no more than two hours. Infinite encounters quickly become the ideal space for inoperability.

3. Establish five-minute breaks each time the subject is changed. What is sought with these short breaks is for the team to breathe, attend to small emergencies and open their minds to new information. Abruptly changing the subject creates confusion and fatigue.

4. Plan meetings so they don’t end close to lunchtime or the end of the workday. Always leave a space after the meeting for attendees to complete their pending tasks or close the day.

5. When irreconcilable divisions of opinion arise, change the subject or suspend the meeting. Don’t let the meeting turn into an endless discussion. Then, discuss separately with the parties to begin the work of finding common ground.

6. Although ideally each meeting leads to a decision, this may not always happen and other meetings are needed. Never drag out a meeting indefinitely to try to find a conclusion. It is better to schedule a new meeting.

7. Start meetings at the agreed time and never update latecomers. Reward those who are fulfilled and rebuke those who are not. A good teaching mechanism for the noncompliant is to add a list of those who arrived on time and those who arrived late in the minutes.

8. Assign in advance the places that the assistants should occupy at the table. It’s a good idea to mix people up so that conversation groups are not formed within the meeting.

9. Restrict the use of devices within the meeting. Make an effort so that the participants are 100% focused on the topics that are being discussed. Eliminating any distractions will increase the effectiveness of the encounter.

10. Control the time that will be given to each participant to speak. Do not allow endless and inportant speeches. Encourage brevity in the work team.

11. Push everyone to express their opinions. Make those who are silent speak. Try to break both types of silence: that produced by shyness and that generated by hostility.

12. Encourage the brainstorming, but discourage those who make it personal. Maintaining a good team climate is important. Do not allow meetings to become a dispute between sides, much less a confrontation between two people.

13. Never belittle a suggestion or idea. Listen and document everything that is said during the meeting.

14. Always give the floor to the senior people at the end of the discussion. If they speak first, the others will accommodate their opinions.

15. Never make a meeting a scene to launch accusations. Collective evaluations are not recommended.

16. End all your meetings on a positive note.

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