Training Consultants can relate to the fact that most of our day is spent dealing with e-mails, memo and phone calls. Meetings are still one of the most effective ways for us to share and exchange information, collaborate, receive feedback and plan for important decisions.
Despite the many benefits, why do some of us have a difficult time accepting meetings? It seems that meetings are starting to gain a bad reputation for getting longer, becoming more frequent and generating fewer results. As your employees are being taken away from their primary responsibilities, they become frustrated when no clear results were achieved from the meeting.
The truth is that many of us must accept that a significant portion of our working day will be spent in the meeting room. With the tools and knowledge to properly facilitate an effective meeting, you can significantly enhance employee productivity and engagement. As a top training company, we adhere to a guide used by our top training consultants on how to organize and facilitate effective meetings. Among the many corporate training programs viable, learning the key elements to effective meeting facilitation has become one of the most valuable.
Let's touch on two important elements when facilitating effective meetings: the purpose and structure of a successful meeting:
Purpose of a Meeting
Before any meeting, training consultants suggest you first determine the purpose of the meeting. Without a clear purpose, meeting deliverables are vague and success cannot be measured.
Examples of main purposes in a meeting:
♦ Inform - When the purpose of your meeting is to inform, you want to create awareness by providing your audience with facts. You want your team to know enough to feel confident.
♦ Explain - When the purpose of your meetings is to explain, you want your audience to understand why something was done or will be done in the future. You are providing them with the reasons for a decision and creating buy-in by answering their questions.
♦ Persuade - When the purpose of your meeting is to persuade, you want to convince your audience to take specific action by touching their emotions in order to move them to a desirable action.
Structuring a Successful Meeting
Depending on the purpose and nature, meetings can vary in length, depth and the level of participation. An underlying commonality among all meetings is there should be a structure to follow. Our training consultants break down the structure and best practices to adhere to during each step.
♦ Opening (10% of time) - Remember the three A's: Atmosphere, Agenda, Attention. If you are meeting with someone for the first time, ensure they are invited into an atmosphere that is welcoming and accommodating. Have a clear and comprehensive agenda that will serve as a structure for the duration of the meeting. Lastly, grab the participants' attention from the onset by introducing the topic with an enticing hook. Keep them engaged by using action verbs and asking relevant questions.
♦ Body (80% of time) - Introduce topics and solutions from an order of known to unknown. Make it clear as to what actions have been taken and what need to be taken in the future. This will serve as an opportunity to clear any confusion and ensure everyone is on the same page.
♦ Closing (10% of time) - This is a perfect opportunity to re-emphasize the points which you mentioned in the body. Reinforce the purpose of the meeting by repeating benefits and verifying a uniform understanding. Wrap-up the meeting by asking questions.
Become a professional at facilitating meetings by downloading our "Checklist for Facilitating Effective Meetings (Live and Virtual)"