Meetings make up for a major portion of working days. Most people are constantly going in and out of meetings for the better part of the week. And despite close and frequent contact with meetings, most of them absolutely dread sitting in one.
This is possibly a result of sitting through several bad meetings that start with no clear purpose or agenda. You walk into the meeting clueless about what’s going to be discussed and the other team members present are equally lost.
If you’re looking for ways that can help you make the most of your meetings in terms of productivity and goal-oriented discussions, the courses available at Kool Kanya can give you a head-start. Subscribe to PowerPass to access multiple courses and #RaiseYourPower by learning things you didn’t learn in the classroom!
Holding weekly meetings that result in productive decisions and have a clear purpose can be a challenging process. There are several obstacles you come across in order to achieve a healthy discussion, and overcoming these hurdles is not easy.
If you don’t want your team members to dread attending your meetings, we’re here to provide some guidance on how you can achieve that. Here are a few things you can implement to carry out effective business communication during meetings.
- Provide an agenda early on
The first thing you should do before you conduct a meeting is set a clear and purposeful agenda for the meeting. This may seem like the most obvious thing to you, but the reason behind a lot of bad meetings is the lack of an agenda.
The purpose of the meeting can be communicated via mail or even written on a whiteboard. Notifying your teammates of the meeting’s agenda allows you to carry out more productive and effective communication at work.
If the attendees are aware of what needs to be discussed, they will have time to think over it and contribute to the meeting with well-formed ideas. You can also ensure your agenda for the meeting has relevant things.
For example, status updates can be communicated via mail and don’t need to take up space during the meeting.
2. Time is of the essence
Picture this: You walk into a meeting where the lead says, “This will only take 15 minutes”. Cut to an hour later - you’re still sitting in the same meeting. Doesn’t sound ideal, does it?
To avoid situations like this, it is important your meetings start on time and end on time.
If your teammates believe that your meetings never finish when they’re supposed to, they will automatically dread attending them. Hence, while planning your meetings, be mindful of your own and your team’s time.
It is also advised to keep the meetings as short as possible. Your weekly meetings are supposed to be for discussing developments, sharing ideas, and assigning tasks. Ensure that you’re keeping the discussions brief and not drifting away from the topic.
3. Consistency is key
A meeting planning process should be consistent and routine. Consistency leads to improved workflow and increased productivity, especially when it comes to business communication.
If you’re communicating the meeting agenda via mail, you must always communicate it via mail. Following one particular format for communicating the agenda also proves to be convenient as the team members will know exactly where to find the information they require.
If Tuesday is the day decided for weekly meetings, you must ensure that the meetings take place on Tuesdays only. Consistency ensures that team members are always available for meetings and can contribute with more preparation and enthusiasm.
4. Give everyone a chance to lead the meeting
You may be the team lead or the senior most person in the team but there is no rule that says you always need to be the one heading your weekly meetings. Having the same person run the meeting every week can get boring and redundant.
Although routine and consistency are required for effective business communication, handing the baton over to another team member every week may lead to healthy developments in the team.
Not only does it increase their responsibilities, but it also improves their leadership and business communication skills. Changing the person who heads the meeting every week increases active participation from team members and gives them a chance to understand corporate lingo better without disturbing the meeting’s routine set beforehand.
5. Assign tasks
Let’s assume the agenda of your meeting is to come up with different ideas and solutions for a particular problem. The process doesn’t end with people sharing their opinions and brainstorming.
Those ideas also need to be executed.
Often, solutions that are discussed in a meeting never see the light of day. This is because no one has been given the responsibility of getting it done. It is important to assign tasks related to the meeting’s discussion.
This increases the team’s accountability and also provides concrete results in terms of solutions and development.
6. Keep your meetings flexible
Is there no particular topic that needs to be addressed this week? Cancel the meeting.
Do you believe someone wouldn’t be adding value to the agenda you have in mind? Keep the option of skipping the meeting open to them.
Again, consistency is crucial for efficient company communication. However, your meeting schedules and patterns should not be rigid. Holding a meeting when there’s nothing relevant to discuss leads to boredom and wasting time that could be utilised elsewhere.
At the same time, if a team member believes there is nothing valuable they can contribute to the discussion, allow them to skip. This shows that you trust their judgement and value their time, building a better relationship between the two of you.
To gain a better understanding of communication in a company and develop your business communication skills, you can join Kool Kanya’s business communication course. From interview tips and decoding business lingo to helping you navigate the workplace and build healthy corporate relationships, this course has it all!
Navigating the business world and carrying out weekly meetings will never be smooth sailing, but you can join Kool Kanya’s course to surf the waves with more ease.
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