Monday, April 2, 2012

E-Tip #385: 6 Tips for More Productive and Successful Business Meetings

Business meetings can be a great way to get your team on board with their goals and to hear about new ideas; however, these meetings can waste everyone's time if they are not properly managed. To help you have more successful and productive business meetings, we have listed below 6 tips for getting the most out of your meetings. They are:

Tip #1: Plan Ahead And Be Prepared - Before you head out to your next meeting, prepare the questions or issues that you would like to have addressed, and think about what you would like to accomplish during the meeting. Also, it is helpful if you send a quick email asking everyone involved to go through the same process.

Tip #2: Open Your Mind To Someone Else's Ideas - Go into a meeting with the attitude that you will learn something new. Fully listen to others before speaking. Instead of interrupting, write your thoughts down and address them at an appropriate time. Be careful not to criticize other people for their thoughts and ideas.

Tip #3: Take Good Notes - Taking good notes will help you organize what you are learning as well as make a permanent record of what you have learned for future reference. They are helpful to use for summarizing at the end of the meeting, too (see tip #6 below).

Tip #4: Ask Questions To Clarify Action Items - Do not hesitate to ask questions to clarify what has been said or agreed upon. Be sure to keep your questions clear and concise, so everyone can be on board with both the question and answer(s).

Tip #5: Offer Ideas and Solutions - Offering ideas and possible solutions will make you feel more involved in the meeting - it is also a great way to help prevent your mind from wondering. If you have an idea that you feel is important, share it! Sharing often sparks new ideas and adds energy to a meeting.

Tip #6: Summarize Action Items - When the meeting is finished, review your notes openly as a way to not only reinforce what was discussed in the meeting, but to also assign action items and due dates to the project. If your notes are all over the place, rewrite and organize them. This is a great way to not forget important details.

Executive Summary: Successful meetings are those which are properly managed. Make sure you plan before the meeting starts. Once the meeting has started, be sure to stay open-minded, and make sure you understand what is being said. Also, be an active participant by offering your own suggestions and ideas. Finally, take good notes, because they can serve as reference during and after the meeting, and they will help you wrap up everything that was addressed. Use these tips to make the most out of your meetings, as successful meetings lead to successful organizations.

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