When it comes to the overall process of successful businesses, one of the pitfalls to make sure that you avoid is the lousy business meeting. But because there’s so much old-school thought, tradition, and unnecessary formality baked into the idea of those meetings in the first place, it can be very difficult to break out from that mold.
However, there are details that you can make sure that you improve on, especially if you are the one running the show. Pay special attention to warmth and comfort, connectivity, the way tables are set up, creating the shortest meeting possible, and making sure that every aspect of the meeting has a clearly defined purpose.
Warmth and Comfort
Meeting are often too hot or too cold for the majority of people attending. That’s why details like setting the thermostat in a meeting room, or placing patio warmers close by at an outdoor meeting, can be the difference between getting things accomplished and just having everyone complain about their personal discomfort. Make sure to tell people to dress according to where the location will be as well. Don’t insist on heavy suits in a hot environment!
Everyone at any meeting is going to feel like they’re entitled to fast, free internet. And that means making sure that wherever the meeting is, you set up a Wi-Fi hub to accommodate everyone. You can either make it a private connection and tell everyone the password, or create a hidden hub where everyone just has to know the name of the network in order to get on. Even if you don’t want people checking social media, it’s still important that they have access to things like search functions.
Many managers aren’t aware just how important table setup is when it comes to meeting. If you have people in a circle, or in a square, or a rectangle, or in comfortable chairs, or hard, straight-backed ones – that can make all the difference in the world from a psychological perspective, so make sure that you pay close attention to that detail and make it work to your desired end.
The best meetings are short meetings, and you should plan on that. If you only need five minutes to talk about something, don’t stretch it out into an hour. Don’t allow anyone at the meeting to carry on either. If you have to set a timer, do it and tell speakers there are no exceptions!
A Clear Purpose
Without a clear purpose, business meetings can be akin to torture. If you want to improve your meetings, make sure that there is a goal you’re trying to accomplish. If you can’t determine what this clear focus is, just cancel the meeting, and everyone will thank you later.