Meetings in the workplace often get a bad rap. Eyes roll at the thought of big company meetings, the sentiment often being that time is better spent at the desk. Like them or loath them they serve a purpose and more often than not are a necessity in the working world. Whether you are preparing for a board meeting or a meeting trying to secure new business preparation is key to a successful meeting and here are some ways you can be prepare.
Firstly, and perhaps a little obvious, be sure you have got the time, date, and location correct. There is nothing worse than arriving late or even on the wrong day to a meeting, it is unprofessional and a waste of resources and everyone’s time.
Secondly, you want to be sure you know all of the attendees. Know who they are, what they do, and why they are there. Google them or find them on Linked In if you have to. Look attendees up on the staff directory or note down their name on introduction, just be sure you know who they are. If you are attending the meeting then it might be worth coming prepared with a business card or short company profile to distribute. If you can, make your business card stand out or reflect you or the business you represent. For example, a jewelry business may use gold business cards, or a recycling company might be inventive and utilize silver metallic foil business cards. Something that sparks interest and leaves an impression, particularly if the purpose of your meeting is to seek new business.
Photo credit; Fauxels from Pexels
To ensure the meeting runs smoothly make sure you have a clear agenda of business that needs to be addressed. It is a good idea to come up with a skeleton agenda that can be distributed at the start of the meeting. If you are an attendee this gives you the opportunity to either agree or voice any concerns or potential matters you wish to discuss that are not listed within the agenda.
If you are running or attending the meeting you want to be sure of and remember the objectives and outcomes you desire. This will allow you to ensure the meeting is fruitful and that you have got what you came for. It will also avoid wasting time on unnecessary discussions, as once all objectives have been met there is no reason to prolong the meeting any further.
When considering objectives and outcomes don’t forget to consider any obstacles that may present themselves and how you may deal with them. Whether you are facing employee revolt over new procedures or the prospect of losing a majority vote, obstacles are not uncommon. In fact, they are often the reason for the meeting so be prepared to deal with them head-on and reach an amicable solution for all attendees.
Finally, be sure you have allowed time in the meeting to discuss the follow-up actions. Although the meeting may be ending chances are actions have been discussed and steps will need to be taken once all attendees leave the meeting. If you are running the meeting be sure everyone is clear on what action they may now have to take as a result of the meeting. If you are an attendee and are in any way unsure of what action may be required from you, then speak up and seek clarification.