Using an Agenda and Allowing Time For Discussion

A business meeting is an official gathering of people who are interested in the same topic. They have a specific purpose and are subject to rules and procedures to ensure they’re productive and fair. Business meetings can be conducted in person or through video conferencing. Setting up an agenda and giving time for discussions can help to improve the effectiveness of business meetings.

It is crucial to outline the agenda for the meeting clearly and quickly, so that all participants know what they must accomplish. The meeting leader should define the manner in which decisions are made – by consensus, majority vote or by the chairman alone – to avoid confusion regarding who is responsible for what. It is also important to wait until all attendees are present prior to starting the discussion, so that they can fully participate in the conversation.

It is a common omission to get caught up in small, but important issues to the detriment of subjects whose significance is more longer-term. However, it is usually fixed by setting an objective for when the discussion of the subject will begin and following it. It is also ideal to set an amount of time for the meeting. There are very few meetings that are productive after two hours. Having a shorter meeting duration could save you a lot of phone calls to the secretary at the end.

Sometimes, a participant will have something to say but may be sufficiently nervous about the reaction of others that he chooses to keep it to himself. The chairman should be alert to this and work to make these contributions visible by expressing an interest in them and delight at their value (as instead of expressing satisfaction at their agreement).