There’s no denying that communication is absolutely vital in the proper functioning of a business, no matter how large the business is and regardless of the industry in which it operates. Fundamentally, communication – and the organization of proper communication channels, schedules, and a system for how best to orchestrate and coordination functions within the business – is critical.
A business doesn’t operate on the wits of its management, or the talent of the employees executing important tasks. It operates on interconnectivity, communication, teamwork and valuable cooperation. That’s what a business is about – people coming together.
With all that considered, it’s easy then to see why meetings are absolutely vital to making sure that a business actually works, and does what it is meant to do, no matter the industry or competition.
But meetings do have a dark side to them. Like so many other functions in the world of business, meetings are plagued by a little yet critical characteristic – they’re a double-edged sword. That means one side faces the problem, and eliminates it (lack of management and coordination).
The other side faces you, and can definitely cut you harshly (wasting time, fostering frustrations, cementing problems between management and employees).
In order to utilize the power of the meeting within your organization, you need to be aware of two tasks, and be able to properly carry them out. These tasks are:
- The ability to hold a good meeting, and know all the pros and cons of what it means to hold a good meeting.
- Knowing what types of meetings you should employ for your company, and when.
Meeting types matter. Some meetings are more appropriate for certain functions than others. Let’s take a look at a few different meeting types and when best to employ them, for maximum impact and benefit to your business.
The Quick Meeting
The most commonly-held, critical and important meeting to master in an organization is the quick meeting, and here’s why: you want to be able to incorporate a meeting type into your business that is easily executed, fast, answers unanswered questions and allows your team or department to get back to work without getting so distracted over the course of the meeting that they’re taken out of the context of their work day.
Take into consideration that most meetings take as long as 80 minutes. We’re gonna come right out and say it right now – that is ridiculously long. It is way, way too long. They should be lasting about 20, as per Lifehacker.
Meetings of incredible length may come in handy at the very beginning or very end of a project, or in cases where it is truly valid, but the truth is that anything past half an hour means you’ll be struggling very hard to keep anyone’s attention on the subject at hand, especially in a meeting with the entire team involved. Best case scenario, as per Get Solid, is about 50 minutes of attention.
Quick meetings are meant to be status updates, not much longer than 10 minutes apiece, and probably held twice or thrice a week. You do not need a daily meeting.
You can make status updates even faster by incorporating quality video technology, so your team doesn’t even have to get out of their desks – allowing them to easily segue out of the meeting mentality back into work without really being distracted.
The All-Hands Meeting
Next up on the list is the all-hands meeting. This meeting is derived from the simple yet extremely apt term, “all hands on deck”, which is utilized by ship captains to alert their crew that everyone is needed on this one. These meetings are meant to utilize a presentation and other peripheral information to give a perfectly summarized overview of the situation.
A great way to keep everyone focused on the task at-hand is through video all-hands meetings. Premium conferencing software like BlueJeans allows any company budget to quickly incorporate a method that allows every team member, no matter how remote, to join a meeting and display their attendance through a simple video feed, whilst immediately viewing files and slides through cloud-based file sharing.
The Town Hall Meeting
The town hall meeting is another large meeting involving the whole team, only this time with less of a status update in mind, and more with the focus of addressing the concerns of the team. Once a week or once every major update, a meeting should be held where every member of the team gives a quick overview of what they’ve done, and more specifically, what problems they’re facing.
Then, a questions-and-answers segment between the team and the team leader/management/client takes the majority of the meeting’s time to ensure that every question and concern goes answered before the rest of the project is worked on.
Through these simple, yet extremely effective meeting types, you can control the efficacy of a meeting and the impact it has on your employees by simply employing the right meeting under the right circumstances, avoiding situations where team members simply doze off or start reading up on their emails instead of joining in on the conversation and contributing to the meeting itself.