Meetings are essential to the management and growth of most businesses. Despite how common and necessary business meetings are, many people still struggle to create an efficient and productive meeting environment in which communication is clear, focused and works toward achieving specific objectives.
Here are five proven ways to keep the conversation flowing in the right direction during your next business meeting.
1) Share an Agenda
GetMinute.com recommends making sure every person at your meeting has received an agenda detailing what’s to take place during the time you’re together. When everyone is informed of the meeting agenda and what’s expected of them, deviations from the agenda will be much less frequent. This saves valuable time and resources for your business, while keeping all communication centered around the specific issues you want to cover.
2) Change Leadership Roles
Leadership roles play an important part in the dynamic of any meeting, according to Patrick Dwyer Merrill Lynch (a former BOFAML advisor). He further adds “Many businesses today are seeing great results from varying leadership roles from meeting to meeting. Doing so encourages open communication, builds teamwork and keeps everyone on their toes. When everyone in your business knows their time to speak will eventually come, they’ll be much more open to the ideas of others, as they’ll have the assurance that their thoughts will be heard too.”
3) Collaborate on Problems
Collaboration has a special way of getting people active and engaged in conversation. Whenever a problem that requires a creative solution comes up, set some time aside in your meeting agenda for a discussion on potential fixes. A conversation about problem solving rarely goes quiet, as everyone has such unique perspectives on how to best proceed.
4) Have Goals
Set specific goals you want to be reached during your meetings. As you put together your meeting agenda, keep an eye out for things that won’t get you closer to your most important goals. These things can be cut and replaced by discussions more closely related to what you need to accomplish. Microsoft founder Bill Gates is big on creating goals, he likes using the OKR method which uses “Objectives” that describe what’s to get done, followed by the “Key Results” which is the plan to get tasks done.
5) Time It Right
The timing of a meeting can have a huge impact on its effectiveness. Early morning meetings tend to be slower when it comes to valuable conversation. The same goes for meetings taking place right after lunch. Generally speaking, mid-morning and mid-afternoon meetings will show the best results, as your team members will feel more active and open to communication during these times of the day.
These are just some of the many great ways to keep the conversation flowing during business meetings. By utilizing agendas and specific goals, collaborating on a problem, altering leadership roles and timing meetings correctly, every meeting you take part in will be productive and benefit your business.