A meeting is when you get together with people to discuss something. As technology has changed and people can connect online or by phone - meetings can take place with people in different locations. The main goals of a meeting are to share information with people, discuss matters and see the response of people. Information can be shared my letter, e-mail, voice mail, text message etc, but having a live discussion with people provides a different response which includes body language and other personal factors.
We all have informal meetings each day - family meal time, walking to school with someone, in-class activities, friends after class, team sports, visiting a doctor, an interview with a teacher- anytime you get together with people and work together to discuss things is a meeting.
Now that we know what a meeting is and that we all have had a meetings, let's think of ways we could make our meetings better.
Key Factors to a success meeting:
Agenda - know what you want to accomplish. Plan the items to discuss and list them on a sheet of paper. Advise people in advance on the agenda to allow them to prepare for the meeting.
Organized - someone leads the discussion and all people participate in a meaningful way.
Effective use of time - make sure to accomplish what you planned to accomplish.
Don't meet for the sake of meeting - have a purpose and a need.
Give thought to who should be at the meeting and why.
Determine next steps and follow-up on the steps that need to be taken.
Provide information after the conclusion of the meeting - minutes (notes on what was discussed and decisions made)
Tips on meetings:
Make sure you participate.
Don' be afraid to challenge what is being discussed
Try and offer some leadership - this is what we should do and get other people to get involved
Listen, listen, listen! You will have your turn - listen to others while they have their turn.
Figure out a way to remember what was discussed - if it is a formal meeting - take notes.
Keep in mind that you are meeting and you are trying to improve your meeting skills - agenda, organized, effective use of time, accomplish something
Planning for your meeting:
Before you meet with friends, think of things you can do. If you think about your meeting or getting together and plan it a little better, then it will be a better experience. You have got together with someone and spend most of the time figuring out what to do. The experience of discussing and resolving is also a good skill to develop and is something you should still continue - don't just say this is what I have decided we should do. Just give some thought and if necessary do some research before you get together.
In business, you will find it is important to be prepared for a meeting. You should know what the agenda is (what will be discussed) and give some thought and prepare your ideas before the meeting.
Before a meal time with your family - write down some things you would like to discuss. Examples: world news, the environment, allowance, goals etc. Tell your family you would like to take some of your meal time to hold a meeting on the topic you choose. Your goal is to lead the conversation with, I would like to discuss ..... Start off with your comments and ask others for their input.
The next time you are together in a group and the conversation goes in circles - ask the group :"what are we trying to accomplish?"