While how to conduct a business meeting may be the source of worry for many, meetings mean different things to different people. Some employees see meetings as a rare opportunity, aside from break time, to relax their minds as they watch others do all the talking.
Undoubtedly, sending out emails and memos can be very easy to do. But more technical and complex issues at your workplace need more than a click on the SEND button to an email. Especially when you’re sending vital information to your colleagues or someone outside your company, such as suppliers or clients.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- What are business meetings?
- Objective of business meeting
- Objectives of Business Meeting (With examples and case studies)
- How to conduct a business meeting without pain
What are Business Meetings?
In an organization, there will always be a need to pass a piece of information, ensure good teamwork amongst staff or get feedback from employees about certain policies or operations of the company. Oftentimes, these get achieved through conducting business meetings.
A meeting is the coming together of more than one person to exchange ideas and deliberate issues that are crucial to their existence. Hence, business meetings are formal kinds of meetings that may take place within and outside a company and usually come in different forms. But the types of business meetings that business managers conduct at various times depend on what they want to achieve with them.
Objectives of Business Meeting
The extent of the success of a meeting is dependent on how defined its objectives are. So what then are business meeting objectives?
An objective of a business meeting is a statement that clearly defines what one desires to achieve when convening a meeting. In other words, participants in meetings get a sense of direction through business meeting objectives as to what goal they should work on individually or collectively.
Therefore, as a business manager or team lead, you can assess the effectiveness and success of a meeting you conducted by measuring how far your team achieved a goal (and actionable steps) you agreed on.
However, while the objective of a business meeting is precise and plain, many confuse it for the purpose why many conduct business meetings, which is usually broad. Unlike a business meeting objective, the purpose of a meeting is the general and broad intent or proposition that one can barely measure with regard to actual or observable results.
Objectives of Business Meetings: Why are they important?
Having established that the objective of a business meeting is distinct from its purpose, the following are some of the benefits of writing out the objectives of your business meetings:
- Help you to articulate the goal for your business meeting in specific terms
- Identify the challenging issues you want to address in the meeting.
- On top of that, an objective of a business meeting helps you structure your business meeting, enhance team spirit and work, and generate problem-solving ideas, even as one optimally manages productive time at work.
Objectives of Business Meeting (Examples)
In this section, establishing clarity regarding meeting objectives examples, three practical case studies shall be considered, with a business meeting objective for each situation.
Recently, the once steady rise in your company’s turnover has sloped downward by 5% in the last two weeks. Therefore, as part of the sales team, you’ve got an email inviting you to deliberate on this matter with others.
The objective of the business meeting for case one:
- To discuss market trends and the company’s current sales figures and think of practical steps (actionable plan) for improvement.
Your company financials show that the amount management incurs as the overhead cost is gradually shooting up for the past 90days with no corresponding effects on the company’s bottom line. And as part of your company’s financial analysts, you’ve got notified via email of a meeting.
The objective of the business meeting for case two:
- To discuss the steady hike in the cost of servicing overheads and examine possible areas to effect reduction without adversely affecting the company’s effectiveness and productivity.
You work in a fin-tech company, and lately, complaints from dissatisfied customers have doubled, especially in how loan collection officers relate and attend to clients. And knowing the business and likely legal implication of this, all members in the collection department (where you belong) got updated that there’ll be a meeting tomorrow after lunchtime.
The objective of the business meeting for case three:
- To address the issue of courtesy among staff, with specific reference to how they relate with clients and the strategies (and approach) they use in retrieving loans from clients.
How to Conduct a Business Meeting [Expert Tips]
Many team leaders or business managers experience massive burnout trying to organize or conduct effective business meetings for reasons they are yet to find out.
In this part, we’ll explore things to consider when trying to conduct business meetings. Be it team meetings, sales meetings, Innovation meetings, problem-solving meetings, or as the case may be. Hence, the following are essential steps to take when trying to conduct a business meeting at any time:
Things You Should Do Before the Business Meeting
You’re a step to mastering how to conduct a business meeting when you first learn things you do before convening any meeting. And they include:
Define its significance
There is no point in convening a meeting without significance because it will amount to a waste of time and resources. Thus, as a team leader, before pressing the “Send button” to notify your team members of any meeting, first examine its significance. Ask yourself:
What are the goals and objectives of the meeting? How will the meeting enhance productivity or reduce production costs?
Set the right time and atmosphere
In learning how to conduct a business meeting, you must be able to schedule the right time for meeting and creating an appropriate atmosphere.
Time is money, and whoever is planning to conduct a business meeting in a work environment must be able to set appropriate date and time beforehand. That’s to say, as a business manager or team leader, you should be able to determine the best time to fix the meeting that will be suitable for almost everybody to attend.
Draft a meeting agenda
After determining the relevance of the meeting, you should write a list of things (in order of priority) subject to discussion at the meeting, which is something you should do carefully as a team leader. Drafting a meeting agenda also includes assigning time for each item and who should handle specific tasks on the meeting agenda.
Notify the right participants
This is where many who organize or conduct meetings get wrong. Because they usually don’t think about the time to think it out.
For example, considering the first case under the objectives of a meeting example section, you’ll realize the right participants for the meeting are the salespeople.
Thus, inviting the technical guys to such a meeting will be out of touch and lead to time wastage. And this will adversely affect the productivity of the company and the effectiveness of the meeting. Because the technical guys might be a source of distractions to the business meeting.
Things You Should Do During the Business Meeting
How do you go ahead to conduct the business meeting after taking necessary actions before the meeting? The following are the essential things you should do during a meeting as a meeting leader:
Follow the meeting Schedule
Every corporate organization should have a strong work ethic that respects time. Thus, as a team leader, you should be able to adhere to the meeting schedule you’ve prepared. Remember, time wasted is gone forever.
Shut off distractions
During the meetings, there are likely distractions that will crop up. But it is your responsibility as the business manager (or whoever is anchoring the meeting) to eliminate distractions. These distractions may be side talks, pressing of phones, sounds, or ringing from phones, as the case may be.
Adopt ways to reach a consensus
Reaching a consensus in a meeting can be challenging, especially with relatively large participants or attendees. But as one conducting the business meeting, you should devise a suitable way to establish consensus on items discussed with progression.
Every business meeting should have a minute. Thus as the anchor of the meeting, you can decide to take notes of things deliberated on in the meeting. Or you assign one or two people to minute the meeting.
Often, a couple of digressions will occur during the meeting. But as the leader of the meeting, you should be able to curtail them.
No doubt, some digression may be relevant to the agenda of the meeting, but you should allow the meeting agenda to be the “roadmap” of the meeting. Therefore, you should be able to refocus the discussion on the agenda of the meeting, particularly in situations where a participant is talking too much, making unproductive arguments, or back-and-forth arguments.
Create time for asking questions
In business meetings, participants ask questions close to the end of a business meeting or where it is considered paramount. Anyway, as the leader of a business meeting, you should give room to attendees to ask questions or make relevant observations where necessary.
Feedback is essential to communication. And since most business meetings are usually an oral form of communication, you should ask for feedback from the participants.
If time permits, you can ask them what they feel about the meeting from the beginning to the end. Or otherwise, you can individually ask them what they think about the entire meeting.
That would help you become a pro in conducting business meetings and making your next big event or meeting better than you can imagine.
Since you have done justice to the agenda of the meeting, at this point, you can justifiably draw the curtain. Here, you can also tell whoever took a minute of the meeting to refine it and distribute it electronically (via email) to members, if need be.
Things to do After the Business meeting
While it may appear you’re through conducting an effective business meeting, follow-ups are what, in truth, define if the meeting you held was successful in the real sense. For example, say (as in Case Three above) you just concluded the business meeting with team members to address how they relate with clients and the strategies (and approach) they use to retrieve loans from clients. As the team leader, you need to follow up on the outcome of the meeting.
Because after the meeting, even as management does their part, team members with ethical behavior should relate with customers with courtesy and in a professional way.
An effective business meeting has a clear objective, but learning how to conduct a business meeting without breaking yourself or your company requires proper planning. Therefore, plan your next big meeting with care, applying the tips outlined in this post.