Career and Jobs

How To Have An Effective Meeting — 3 Simple Rules That Make All The Difference

Meetings are where members of an organization come together to not only discuss major issues pertaining to business transactions and daily processes but also to make decisions on how they’ll move forward. In essence, they’re the lifeblood of any company.

According to Chelsea Street, a Sales Training & Enablement Specialist at Lytx, meetings can be much more than just regular moments of conversation, they can be opportunities to elicit real, positive change within an organization. 

But here’s the thing: we’ve all had the unfortunate experience of being in awful meetings.

Here are three things you can do to have better meetings.

Adopt a Audience-First Mindset:

To facilitate an audience-first mindset, you need to focus on understanding the guest you plan on meeting with to gain insight into their side of the equation. Before a meeting, you should be able to understand their motives, perspective, and needs as if they were your own.

Unfortunately, it’s often difficult to balance this learning process with handling day to day business tasks. People today wear busyness as a badge of honor and we often trick ourselves into believing that we don’t have time to prepare. 

We do. 

You just need to prioritize. 

Prioritize the meetings that are most pressing and spend more time preparing for them. Then for the other less pressing meetings, you can use the “two-minute prep” method which is simply a rushed attempt to get a basic understanding of the situation, but it goes a long way. 

Pre-Meeting and Post Meeting Communication:

Everyone focuses on the communication that takes place during a meeting, but pre and post-meeting communications are just as important. 

Pre-Meeting

Prepare yourself and the other people in the meeting ahead of time. Let them know what their overall purpose is at the meeting, what they should expect, and what the end goal of the meeting is; this goes a long way in ensuring an effective meeting.

Post-Meeting

Post-meeting communication resolves any misunderstandings, reminds everyone of their next steps, and keeps everyone up to date on relevant issues. This form of communication will occur immediately after the meeting and as necessary going forward. 

Post-meeting communication often organically morphs into pre-meeting communication when the conversation or relationship is ongoing. 

This is something that Street says has helped her to keep her team and their partners on the same page.

“One thing that I like to do is send a recording of our group meetings. Our office likes to inform our partners about our recent achievements, innovations, and other major points of interest and the calls allow our partners to stay informed without participating in a formal meeting. I send them a recording of the information, along with a briefing that highlights the conversation’s strong points.”

This is appreciated in most cases and allows for flexibility with everyone’s schedule, while also keeping them informed about relevant topics.

Organization:

Organizing your efforts ties the first two keys to success together. If you’re unorganized, you tend to enter a state of frantic panic, which leads to a deterioration of the meeting environment. 

Street says, “The way you decide to organize your efforts is largely up to you, but I like to separate everything into time blocks. I’ll look at my schedule, define when my meetings are, how long they should take, and what time periods I have between meetings. After I conduct this brief analysis, I decide what can, and should, be accomplished within each block.”

Outlining the work that needs to be done, and the time-frames in which it needs to be done makes it far easier to go into meetings confidently, remain on course with your pre-established plans, and overall, generate a more effective meeting experience that helps align the results of the meeting with you and your company’s end goals. 

Click here to listen to our full interview with Chelsea Street.

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