How to hold a good meeting

Meetings – they make the world go round.

But what actually makes a meeting a success? How can you leverage your &Meeting room to the best of its ability and get the best results? Read more to find out.

Participation

Getting everyone involved in a meeting is absolutely vital if you expect people to come away from it having learned something.

Try to ask participants to interrupt you with questions, comments or even criticisms, as this will be a sure way to grab their attention from that incredibly distracting, motionless water cooler in the corner, which seemed to hold Mark from Sales’ gaze for the entirety of your three hour annual expenditure review last year.

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But this does come with its drawbacks and holding a two-way meeting where people can talk at you, instead of just absorbing information, requires more intensive preparation – so make sure you are ready before it begins.

What if someone thinks your figures aren’t right? What if they don’t like the project you are proposing? These types of things must be considered if you expect this kind of meeting to go right.

Protocol

Some of the more traditional protocols of a meeting – the agenda, any other business, register, etc – can seem endlessly pointless and boring.

But the fact is, whilst some of these might seem tedious, it is absolutely vital that you have this basic structure in place as it will underpin the potential success of your summit.

Not completing a register, for example, might seem a minor issue in what seems like a much more important meeting, but the fact is that two or three years down the line if you need to know if a person attended – perhaps to see if their claims about not being properly briefed on a project were true – then you won’t have any evidence.

This is something of an extreme example, but following pre-agreed protocols to these kind of important meetings and then filing away the minutes in an easy to find location on your computer, or cloud platform, is always good practice.

Getting the right meeting room

Any expert in meetings will tell you that getting the setting right is absolutely vital.

If you hold a summit in an area with a lot of background noise, or one that doesn’t have the ambience needed for a professional meeting, then it is likely it will be an abject failure.

Sure, it might seem a bit strong to say, but here at &Meetings we know a thing or two about holding a proper meeting and have hosted thousands of businesses on our premises since we first opened our doors.

If you don’t have access to one of our competitively priced, fully fitted rooms, then try to ensure your meeting area is clear of debris, kitted out with the necessary audio visual tools that people come to expect and – above all – is quiet.

Nobody likes being disturbed during a tense meeting so you should also make sure that you put a do not disturb sign on the door – or failing that, just tell everyone in your office not to come in unless it’s absolutely urgent.

The 50 minute meeting

We would love to take credit for this idea, but unfortunately for us it actually comes from David Silverman, whose The 50-Minute Meeting book was adapted by the Harvard Business School in its meeting guidance report.

The duo argue that the current way of conducting meetings, where timings are rounded to the nearest hour, are counter productive and result in an overly hectic schedule.

“A day of back-to-back meetings is exhausting and overwhelming. Running from meeting to meeting, you leave an inbox full of unanswered emails and undoubtedly start to run late to your afternoon appointments. Stop the madness by insisting on 50-minute meetings.

“What can be done in 60 minutes can easily be done in 50 with some focus and discipline. Defy the default in your calendar and send meeting requests that end 10 minutes before the hour.

“This will allow you, and everyone else, to take a quick break, check emails, and restore some sanity to your day.”

Make sure everyone knows what it is about

There’s nothing quite as bad as being in a meeting where nobody knows what is going on and as such you should ensure that everyone who is set to attend the summit is completely sure about what the topic is on.

You can do this by sending out regular messages regarding the subject and reminding people involved in the meeting whenever you see them around the office.

While this might seem annoying, and it probably is, the fact is that the success of your meeting trumps all else and you should concentrate on making sure everyone is focused and can bring their opinions to the table.

Make it fun

Finally, just make sure it’s fun!

Sure, you might not jump at joy with the idea of a meeting with the accountancy team, but there isn’t any reason why a get together has to be boring.

Bring cakes, tea and biscuits to lighten the mood – something that we give guests for free here at &Meeting sites.

Book a meeting room today for the perfect summit!

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