Make a Better Business Meeting
Whether your team is meeting via online platforms like Zoom or meeting in-person, it's important to strive for better business meetings.
Are your professional meetings dull, uninspiring, and inefficient? Would you like them to be vibrant, engaging, productive, and future-focused? If so, here are some suggestions to supercharge your business meetings and make them worth the time for everyone.
Assess your current situation. Be honest and determine what is and isn't working and commit to improvement. Ask for feedback from those who participate in the meetings.
Raise your expectations. Demand more from your sessions. Agendas should be circulated in advance. Attendees should be on time, prepared, and ready to actively participate.
Set ground rules. No web surfing or crossword puzzles. Keep your sessions focused and business-like. But don't forget the benefits of humor to lighten things up and reduce stress.
Virtual meeting etiquette. Have participants mute their microphones when not speaking to help avoid distractions from background noise. Promote proper camera position at eye level while showing the speaker's upper body, not just their face, so that paralanguage can be more easily read. Encourage team members to hide their own video on the display. These settings help relieve virtual meeting fatigue.
Have an agenda, but be prepared to leave it. If a stimulating and productive discussion develops, exploit it. Harvest those creative ideas. You can always revisit less important matters.
Challenge your meeting time and formats. If your meetings get in a rut, try something different. Don't underestimate the power of mixing things up.
Stretch and challenge the team. Your meetings are valuable personal and organizational development opportunities. Treat them that way by avoiding the trivial. Handle routine updates via memos or e-mail.
Focus on the positives and keep future-focused. Maintain a positive tone. Discuss your yesterdays only to improve your tomorrows. Recognize excellence by praising and rewarding performance.
Recap and take action. Resolve issues, determine a course of action, and assign action steps. It's important to make recognizable progress.
Know when to quit. If you hit a big breakthrough, consider stopping there. End on a high note. Focus on unifying your team by reinforcing common bonds and moving forward together.