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  • Writer's pictureGreat Companies

7 Characteristics of Effective Meetings

Sep 20, 2017

Meetings can be the most potent breeding ground of ideas and innovations for any company, while offering an opportunity for employees and executives to have an interactive exchange of opinions not found anywhere else, but only when they're done right. Hence, in the spirit of spurring more efficient meetings than most are fortunate enough to be a part of, here are 7 characteristics found in any effective workplace meeting.

PRE-PLANNED - A meeting which pins the entirety of its hopes on figuring our an agenda and topics of discussion when on the spot itself will not only rob a myriad of employees of their precious time, but squander the meeting's potential for productivity even before ideas begin to be tabled. An employee sanctioned for particularly curing this very ailment is thus a necessity, and it's only them that can chalk out a comprehensive agenda for the meeting based upon the company's recent financial performance and desires for forthcoming market swings, while efficiently communicating the same to each attendee of the meeting prior to their appearance can verse every participant on the underlying concerns to be discussed and bring the entire brainpower scheduled for the occasion to be upon the same page even before a physical interaction is enabled.

FOCUS - Meetings must focus on a particular topic above all other potential discussions, meaning that sacrifices might have to be made on the rare occasion or two of even ideas that might otherwise be brilliant, but stray from the tabled agenda on hand. For such suggestions, an organiser can possibly take note of the individual from whom it stems from and brief executives about it, allowing for their creativity to find a platform away from the meeting itself, helping it keep concise in form and focused in nature. Such an approach also reaps the greatest rewards when a task at hand compels the management to call for a meeting, pooling an entire portion of the firm's greater workforce to co-operate for the realisation of a common goal.

QUOTAS - Meetings can often encourage even the most dedicated of employees to doze off and perhaps complete their sleep with their unorganised and inefficient nature. A major reason for this might be the fact that active participation from attendees is not something seen often in formal workplace meetings, and contradicting this very flaw could be the resolution of many efficiency issues that hamper meetings. Contribution toward either the planning of the meeting or perhaps the presentations to be displayed and ideas to be tabled can provide incentive for each attendee to shed optimum levels of dedication, while utilising the entire manpower at hand and bear fruit capable of steering the company in question forward.

TIME - Although meetings must be allowed the freedom of a free flow of thought as long as they stick within the confines of a set agenda, limiting the total duration prior to the confluence of employees versed with their agenda enables each one of them to achieve the particular goals they intend to arrive for the meeting with, while the opportunity to map and plan their contribution toward the greater objective too can be seen through if each attendee is held to a strict time limit within which they have to fulfil the desired goals listed on the agenda, thus bringing about productivity and saving precious time that would've otherwise been wasted had the meeting allowed free room for conversations to stray from discussion through exorbitant meeting durations.

INFORMATION - A meeting in agreement with the above stated points will always be one boasting of an unhinged information flow, objects such as the notes penned down by those attending to simply digest the amount of ideas being exchanged can bear ample testimony toward. Thus, a meeting rife with key pieces of information previously unknown to much of the attending workforce can always be deemed a successful one for it effectively proves itself to be an educational process for the attendees and set a litmus test for the occasions when a meeting must take place - only when a significant amount of infant data needs to be communicated within the firm.

INTERACTION - A successful meeting enables effective communication between employees and executives, two groups that might otherwise hesitate to interact with one another even in an open work environment encouraging of the same. This can vary from workers being allowed a say or opinion on ideas stemming from those obviously much superior in rank or experience to them, and post-meeting agendas, which can only be gathered after an efficient meeting in the first place, to concern themselves with free, productive exchanges of ideas between the employers and their employees without a formal barrier to separate the two and squander any ideas that might be potent innovations.

RESULTS - Almost no work culture centered around workforce interaction initiates a fresh meeting without discussing the results achieved from the previous one through comprehensive numbers and date to prove the same. A meeting in the process of fruition that starts in such a way not only compels participants to make most of their allotted time while they and their contemporaries are in confluence, but extract result orientated performances from each of them during this junction. Concerning themselves with results also enables work forces to more productively table only the ideas they believe capable of bringing about concrete developments and transformations, doing away entirely with possibly residual suggestions that would provide no identifiable gains.

As proven by mass brainstorming sessions and impressive inter-department interactions found at many a fabled multinational corporation the world over, meetings are perhaps the greatest juncture for an entire company to descend upon a common location and resolve issues that might otherwise stand the test of time, and therefore, the boons of simply even doing them kept aside, their successful implementation can bequeath companies with innovations and suggestions that individual employees might've never conjured.

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