Holding meetings in corporate organizations and even in small businesses remains a must-to-do practice that will bring about growth. Whether it’s face-to-face meetings, E-mail or voice mail.
Although, according to statistics most people prefer to have face-to-face meeting especially when the meeting is to discuss about a way forward in a company.
But then meetings and meetings can be held and even dragged for long hours and still it would yield very little or no result at all, and one would wonder why that is so.
Have you ever been to meetings where people just sit, look on and let one or a few persons do all the talking and contributions? It is most likely that such meeting will produce little or no result, because not every participant is involved.
Those sitting tight-lipped, looking on and allowing every other person talk and make contributions are simply not involved. I’m sure you won’t be shocked to find out that most times such people are thinking abstract things from what is being discussed in the meeting.
I sat at a meeting once with my boss and a few other staffs to discuss a way forward in our advertising department, when all of a sudden he (my boss) threw a question at one of the staffs. “I’m sorry sir, I seem to have lost you, could you repeat the question please?” Miss Claire replied. It was obvious she wasn’t wholely involved in that meeting.
Miss Claire happened to be one of those to implement whatever decision we agree upon in that meeting, but at the time of decision making, she sat there completely lacking conscious awareness of what is being discussed.
How could she have been able to implement what was discussed in that meeting, if it was solely hers to do. If so, then that meeting would not produce any result because the decisions agreed upon would not be well implemented or not even implemented at all.
The essence of holding most business meetings is to identify a short-coming or problem, come up with a solution(s) and then implement them.
So when you hold meetings and those who’re supposed to be involved loose concentration, are bored or loose focus, the aim of the meeting is defeated because it would not yield result.
To get everyone involved in a meeting so as to get result, Dr. Mark Goulston, a Santa Monica psychiatrist who works with both big and small companies to solve all sorts of problems advises to plan a quiz for the end of meetings, “We ask whether everyone really understand what was discussed,” said Goulston, and also “What are you going to do differently and why.”
I recommend that these questions be asked especially to those who are to implement whatever has been discussed, since through them the meeting would yield result.
And also, asking them what they would do ‘differently’ from what has been agreed helps bring out more ideas, that probably would have been horded if you had not asked.
Dr. Goulston also disclosed that asking “whether everyone understands what was discussed” and “What they would do differently and why.”helps avoid ‘collusion‘ between meeting leaders and participants who sometimes agree with their bosses just to gain favoured employee status.
Asking these question is not targeted at embarrassing anyone, but to make sure everyone is on the same page. There are no right and wrong answers to the ‘quiz’.
Asides asking these two questions above, here are some other tips to make sure your meetings produce result(s).
-Send out an agenda before the meeting: this will enable the participants make research around what is to be discussed and come ready to dish out ideas. If after sending out an agenda prior to the meetings, and participants or those to implement what is being discussed are not able to give ideas or say anything at all that can make a meeting produce result then why is he/she still a staff in your company? ” Mr/Miss you are fired!
-Holding meetings with only the necessary people: If you’re holding a meeting to get solution to a problem, invite only those that are concerned with the problem that you’re seeking solution to and make them see the problem as theirs.
-Finally, call a meeting when absolutely necessary- do not call a meeting for meeting sake when there is absolutely nothing tangible to be discussed.
This article was first published on Surge Zirc Nigeria, now modified for Surge Zirc SA readers.