In the business world, meetings between colleagues are pretty common. You can meet for any number of reasons - from a simple catch-up to building your quarterly financial plan, for example. In fact, business meetings are so commonplace that the average employee in the United States attends approximately
8 meetings a week. That amounts to a staggering
55 million meetings held each weekacross the country!
With so many meetings taking place, it’s inevitable that they’re not all totally efficient or, let’s face it, useful. We’ve all come out of at least one meeting and thought “well... that could have been an email”.
So, to make sure you’re running the most effective meetings you can, we’ve put together a short list of the most common types of business meetings that you’re likely to encounter as well as a few tips to make them really worthwhile.
Let’s dive in!
And sure, these meetings can take place online through videoconferencing tools like Zoom. However, a
recent study by Naturehas suggested that virtual meetings can actually limit creative ideas by blocking our ability to read each other’s natural queues and take inspiration from all around us. That’s why
having a brainstorming session in personcan help you generate more ideas and come up with more innovative solutions to a problem!
Want to learn more about how meeting in real life can help boost productivity and creativity? Check out
this videoof our COO Huw Slater and CPO Sally Sourbron talking about just that at SaaStr 2022!
That’s why regularly scheduled status update meetings are so important! They give team members the opportunity to share what they’re working on, align objectives, and even come out with a few action items!
For these meetings to be the most effective, always make sure you have a meeting agenda that makes time for each team member to share. That way, you make sure that everyone has a chance to speak and that your quieter colleagues don’t get overlooked.
Sticking to your agenda items also ensures that you cover everything you had planned in your allotted timeframe. It also gives you the opportunity to cancel the meeting if there aren’t any key talking points that time round.
You might also meet a colleague you’re working on a project with, or simply meet with someone who can help you get unstuck!
These meetings have a myriad of benefits. They’re great for actually advancing on a piece of work together with another person, they can be wonderful ways of getting to know a colleague on a more personal level, and can really help you make headway where you might previously have been a little lost.
It can, however, also be very easy to go off-topic in these meetings, particularly where the person you’re chatting to is a friend!
Depending on the nature of your business and what department you’re in, the problems and solutions you discuss in such meetings will, of course, vary. However, these types of meetings will always have one thing in common - the need to come up with a solution.
Different problems might require more than one problem-solving meeting. That’s why it’s so important for you to follow up on the solutions you and your team came up with. Check in to see how they’re going, and if need be, organize another meeting to evaluate whether further action needs to be taken.
However, you can also have decision-making meetings at any level - deciding on a strategy for the year with your team would certainly fall into this category.
It’s really important for these meetings to be clearly structured and have an apparent objective from the beginning to the end of the meeting. Preparing an agenda ahead of time is really useful to ensure that you cover all the points needed in the time you have.
Running purpose-led meetings is the best way to add value to these professional interactions.
More isn’t always better, so consider your list of attendees carefully before sending out a meeting request to half your department.
This is particularly useful in meetings where lots of ideas are thrown about, like a creative strategy session or an ideation workshop for a new product.
Whether it’s a team-building event or a decision-making meeting, just make sure you’re always respectful of others and their time.
Another pitfall can be getting stuck on one particular topic and neglecting to cover everything else you had in mind before running out of time. Always keep your eye on the clock!
Confusion can easily arise, particularly where multiple action points were discussed. This short recap is a good way to iron out any wrinkles and give people time to ask questions.