Stories Talk | Presentation Skills and Effective Storytelling
How do we feel when we hear the word "meeting" which is nowadays so often on the agenda?
#meeting #creative #empowerment #tools #leadership
By Mia Kollia
Translated by Alexandros Theodoropoulos
Meetings at work can be creative, productive, extremely uplifting or even quite fun. On the other hand, they can also be exhausting, boring, unproductive, a waste of time and energy. Therefore, it is important that the meetings we make are a conscious choice, in order to have the desired result. In other words, we must keep in mind that our goal is to make the most of our time and resources, in a balanced and calm environment.
First, let's understand that meetings have different purposes. For example, some are of a social nature like a colleague's birthday, while others are more professional and may focus on project execution, goal setting, innovative ideas and more.
So, we should first consider the reason for holding a meeting, answering the following questions:
1. Why do we need to hold a meeting? Is it for socialization, decision making, strategy, innovation, learning or something else?
2. How long should it last?
3. What is our real mood for this meeting?
4. What do we expect from each participant regarding the purpose, presentation, preparation and results?
Once these questions are answered, we can then look at how a meeting aligns with the organizational structure of our company. In some companies, certain groups are created which share a common goal. All groups are different and serve different needs and goals. These group meetings are therefore encouraged to align with their organizational purpose, developing a clear path to execution.
Although meetings may be different for each department, perhaps setting different expectations, practices, and habits, we actually improve our chances of success by following six important principles.
1. We start keeping in mind the end of the meeting. We put the intention and purpose on the table from the very beginning. What decisions should be made before the meeting is over?
2. We make a prioritization. We learn to examine the points of the discussion each in turn.
3. Follow the win-win tactics. We strive for mutually beneficial and satisfactory agreements or solutions. During the meeting we give the appropriate time for everyone to think silently and so we get a series of answers and ideas from the participants.
4. We first try to understand the others, so that they can also understand us. We listen patiently and try to understand before answering, without becoming judgmental. If necessary, we take our time to think, to optimize decision-making, ensuring creative and innovative solutions.
5. We work together. When we begin to truly interact and be open to the ideas of others, we gain new perspectives and things evolve. So we can align with important decisions that emerged from the meeting and identify the next steps that will better guide us to our goal.
6. We sharpen our minds. We get ready to attend the meeting, in order to increase our awareness, so that we can perceive even the most subtle meanings circulating in the meeting’s atmosphere. This way we will be able to give the appropriate feedback, which will ensure that everyone leaves the meeting in line, with collective understanding and positive energy.
There is another side to the issue of business meetings, which is good to think about before deciding to hold one. We should therefore take into account the following:
• Is this meeting necessary or could we first discuss the issue with some of the executives separately?
• Who should attend? We invite to the meeting only those who are directly involved in the particular matter.
• We define the purpose of the meeting and make its agenda.
• We must be well prepared on the subject of the meeting, so that the other participants understand that they should give their best for a positive result.
Each meeting is better conducted when some steps are followed:
• We open the meeting with prestige, at the exact time scheduled, even if some of the participants are not in their seats. When they appear, we don’t start from the beginning, so that the latecomers realize that they cannot repeat that next time.
• We encourage reflection during the meeting and don’t dominate the discussion. However, because people tend to get carried away by other issues, we need to hold the reins and bring the discussion back to the purpose of the meeting. Different opinions are welcome when it comes to a creative solution to our problem, but long discussions on a subject often lead in vague directions or neglect the agenda. If at some point we see that the attention of the participants has started to decrease, we take a short break to regain strength.
• We don’t end a meeting without making a decision. The actions assigned to each meeting must be recorded by a member who will be responsible for following the progress of all action points. We do not leave the meeting with abstract decisions. The final decisions must be precise, written, unanimous and with a set schedule.