MANAGE MEETINGS: THE BASICS
Our Objectives in these series of blogs:
- To help you prepare for productive meetings
- How to conduct a productive meeting.
- To show you how to effectively and efficiently follow up on meetings.
In this blog we will look at the
PREPARATION OF PRODUCTIVE MEETINGS
Meetings are an important tool to running a successful business.
Meetings are about internal and external communications and are a sure way of optimizing our collective outcomes.
While ensuring the exchange of relevant information; some examples are
- Understanding the process and progress of the organization
- Empowering participants in the continuous improvement process
- It’s about ensuring everyone is on the same page & talking the same language
- Understanding where the benchmarks are currently and where they need to be
We hold meetings to ensure we maximize the use of our time effectively by having the conversation; we involve additional stakeholders to ensure desired outcomes, the option of sharing information to those that require the information & able to assist with outcomes; while eliminating the mindless repetitiveness of the same conversation every day creating continual down time of employees day to day; it’s about giving back to time management, doing things once; it’s about having the essential stakeholders involved in the conversation to complete the discussion, introducing processes to implement appropriate changes or implement required action plans while ensuring desired and effective outcomes.
We need to be effective with our time and have the right stakeholders involved so as to maximize the desired outcomes.
The saying ‘two heads are better than one’, is very appropriate for small, medium and large businesses. Everyone has something different to bring to the table to assist in the desired outcome process.
There has to be some structure to our communications weather we are a team of 2, 20 or 220.
It’s about information FLOW not information overflow. It’s the constructive input and a different points of view that 2 or more people can have which can possibly turn a bad direction into an overnight success.
It’s true to say that NO-ONE can read your mind or assume your vision, our message requires verbal communication in a controlled environment, this can happen in an INDUCTION or in a MEETING, yes your vision may, in-part, be written in the company’s policy and procedures manual, however there is always ongoing growth; to that there are new structures to introduce.
We continually develop as a productive and proactive team. We continually develop as a business as an organization as a product or as a service; this is referred to as Continuous Improvement; our businesses continue to develop, grow and improve daily, this needs to be COMMUNICATED and DISCUSSED.
You will see me refer to Continuous Improvement regular through our BLOGS
So managing meetings is an integral part of that growth and we can only grow through continued communications, with our staff our suppliers and/or stakeholders everyone plays an important part of your businesses growth.
TYPES OF MEETINGS:
There are INFORMAL MEETINGS and FORMAL MEETINGS;
So what is the difference.
Are just that they are informal and most cases they are impromptu.
There are meetings that we can catch up with a quick coffee to discuss an issue they may have recently risen and your looking to substantiate it with someone.
It may be an impromptu can we catch up in my office / meeting room in one hour to touch base to have a brief discussion these could include but not limited to discussions such as; a stock item, an employee’s sales figure, performance or attendance, feedback on an issue or item.
Notes should always be taken on every discussion and the action plan or outcomes of that discussion also noted for future reference; for the possibility of further development into a formal meeting. Ensuring we diarize each meeting and file the meeting for future reference; a digital copy and a hard copy should be available for all concerned to access and reference.
In some cases, these informal meetings can then develop to formal meeting later.
So a formal meeting is more structured, an agenda is to be set containing the items that require discussion; an invite list is made up of those that will need to attend the formal meeting; this list is to ensure you have all the required personal / stakeholders present at the meeting for effective feedback and decision making.
Again important that notes are always be taken on each agenda point and an action plan or list of outcomes from the discussions are also noted for future reference and for the possibility of further development into a second or third formal meeting. Ensuring we diarize the meeting filing the meeting for future reference; a digital copy and a hard copy should also be available and filed accordingly for future reference, ensuring we have a diarized copy of events and outcomes thus eliminating the need to repeat ourselves in the future and for the benefit of continuous improvement.
Action lists and outcomes are distributed. Who is to action what and in what time frame and that the outcomes are noted and followed through, this way everyone is on the same page.
It is essential that meeting agendas are developed in line with the intent of the meeting.
Most meetings follow a standard agenda which is essentially a roadmap for the meeting, you can find numerous examples online or we can send you some templates to get you started.
The AGENDA is generally sent out with the meeting invitation;
- Assisting participants prior to attending the meeting to know and understand what they need to prepare for prior to the meeting.
- It also helps participant understand while in the meeting know where they are going what is being discussed
- While giving the meeting a sense of purpose and implies value.
All agendas cover the following basics:
- Where and when
- Approval of last meeting minutes
- Review of last meeting minutes and follow up on outstanding action items
- Topic headings
The success of a meeting often depends on the amount of preparation that has happenedbuild the agenda is delegated by the chairperson to the secretary or in a small business generally built from and informal meeting and put together by the business owner or manager To enable the participants to easily see the order of the meeting, you can number each agenda item and then have the meeting minutes written next to it to match the agenda items and agenda Components.
WHY DO WE NEED AN AGENDA? WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT?
To enable the participants easily see the order of the meeting, you can number each agenda item and then have the meeting minutes written next to each item to match the agenda items and agenda Components.
The following is a list of commonly used headings on Agenda’s:
- the title or meeting name
- Date, time and location of the meeting
- Attendees, who is required and invited.
- Quorum Apologies of those that are to be absent
- Welcome message
- Minutes of previous meeting (if there was one)
- Any matters of business arising from the previous minutes
- Reports required
- Major agenda items
- General business
- Next meeting date and where
When you create your agenda, ensure all relevant items are included, including a list of all the correspondence received to complete the picture.
Preparing for Meetings
- Include any breaks for refreshments in a long meeting
- Include the name of the person who is to present each item
- Insert a time limit to each item
Scheduling and ensuring attendance may include:
- email and calendar reminders
- phone calls
- early notification
- personal contact
There is possibly nothing worse than showing up to a meeting to find the venue not appropriate and is in darkness or too much light, we need to consider participants comfort… is either too cold or too hot, ensuring the area is set-up ready to go prior to participants arriving.
A check list should be developed for the following;
Prior to the meeting check that the physical meeting requirements have been taken care of.
- Comfortable seating
- air conditioning
- suitable amenities
- projectors etc. these and more all need to be in place and functioning.
Something as simple as uncomfortable seating or uncomfortable climate control can disrupt or even destroy a meeting and many discourage any possible positive outcomes or participant willingness to attend the next meeting called
- It is also important to check other conveniences such as parking and bathroom facilities.
- Do the participants have clear directions to the venue?
- Are there any special needs that have to be attended to? Like disabled access and disabled amenities
Depending on the length and/or time of the meeting refreshments may be required;
- Is a meal necessary, or is it just morning or afternoon tea maybe some biscuits or cake to be served?
- What about special food requirements, allergies or cultural needs etc?
- How should the room be arranged?
- Who best to seat where?
- Do we have any visual or hearing impairments to consider?
- What shape the seating structure should be U shape, squared or class room style?
- Consider the size of the group for seating arrangements.
- Ensure there is no obstructions to participants visual of the chairperson and screens. How to conduct a productive meetingWe will talk more on MINUTES OF THE MEETING;OUTCOMES;If you require further information on the above blog, please email me and I will be happy to assist.
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How to conduct a productive meeting
We will talk more on
MINUTES OF THE MEETING;
If you require further information on the above blog, please email me and I will be happy to assist.
Get your NexFAZE on with RETAILBOOTCAMP by