Are your meetings costing you money?

by Koby Uhrig

An email recently circulated through J&M about meeting etiquette and recognizing the importance of being focused on the preparation and structure of a business meeting.  Every business reviews its policies and expectations for meetings, but how do you maximize productivity in a business meeting?  Time is valuable to any business, so it is important to have all attendees on the same page.

Obviously, effective communication is critical to a business meeting, and this starts in the meeting’s development stage.  Every attendee is responsible for understanding the purpose in order to enhance the overall effectiveness of the meeting.

We’ve talked so much in the past about the direct impact relationships have on business and communication.  These relationships can really drive the productivity of the meeting.  In addition to preparing for the content that will be discussed, it is key to get to know everyone that will be at the meeting.  An email could be sent out with a brief background of yourself for others to get to know you.  Or, better yet, arrive early.  This shows you are prepared, ready to go, and provides an opportunity to mingle with someone you do not know or have not worked with before.

While relationships can keep a conversation going, it is ultimately up to the attendees to be heard.  Meetings are set up to reach a common goal or to discuss a given topic within the company.  They are created so that everyone involved has the ability to provide input.  It is one thing to check into the meeting, but it is another to participate.  When invited to a meeting, you are expected to reveal any questions or concerns so the entire team is on the same page and can exceed the common goal.

Our president, Jen Dodge, once saved a project over $7,000 a week by making the following suggestions to the Project Sponsor in regards to recurring meetings:

>> Meetings are meant for collaboration only; information sharing should be through email, SharePoint, Corporate Information Sharing vehicles.

>> Agenda and purpose must be clear; parking lot all discussions that don’t contribute to the purpose.

>>Do your homework prior to the meeting; Organizer should set alerts to remind them about their homework.

>> Leadership should not tolerate late or unprepared attendees; lead by example.

>>Invite only the necessary resources; the FYI resources should be copied on the meeting minutes.

 

J&M has experience working with many different companies that employ people of all different backgrounds.  When taking on a new challenge, we take the necessary time to thoroughly understand the business and the people we are working with.  This perpetuates successful meetings in the short term and extraordinary results in the long term.  Build your company’s working relationship with J&M today.

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