Making sure that your meetings are productive and your attendees are pleased are crucial aspects of every boardroom meeting. When everyone is comfortable and refreshed, you can usually be sure that things will go well. Here are just some of the things you can do to achieve success in the boardroom.
Consider whether or not to have the meeting in the first place. If it’s just a matter of conveying information, think about if a phone call or e-mail will be enough to take care of it. If instead you need to do some planning, have discussions, find out about feedback and suggestions, brainstorm, and so on, then you’d need to have a meeting.
What type of meeting is required? The Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) defines four main types, each of which is suited to different goals and needs. For example, when you need to brainstorm, or need to build consensus, you’d use the “workshop method”. This involves activities, concept building, and creativity, as well as for deciding on each individual’s duties. If you need to share information, make evaluations, and get feedback or suggestions, the “discussion method” is appropriate. This involves reflection, decisions, interpretations, and objectivity.“Action planning” is helpful when you need to make clarifications, establish roles and responsibilities, and can be used to start projects. Finally, “force field analysis” is objective-oriented and geared towards getting the ball rolling on big goals.
What are the characteristics of a successful meeting? You can be sure your meeting will go well when you’ve planned extensively. What’s on the agenda? Who is going to attend and when are they available? When are where would it be best to have the meeting? How long will it take? Prioritizing and keeping all parties informed with the details is essential. Consider the logistics too. What equipment will you need? Do you need to make conference calls, and if so, what are the time zones like? Make sure you go in early to see about any setting up that needs to be done. Think about the layout and choose appropriate boardroom tables and seating arrangement suitable for the type of meeting you’re having.
When conducting the meeting, make sure that everyone knows one another, and give introductions if they are needed. Address topics in a focused manner and review the points discussed at the end of the meeting. Encourage all attendees to participate and listen to everyone’s suggestions. Active participation is key in getting the best out of each individual. Finally, a post-meeting follow-up to check on progress. Find out if things are going according to plan, what tasks have been completed or are ongoing. This not only shows your commitment, but it ensures that things get done, and that they get done right.
If you go along these lines with your meetings, organizing well and checking up on progress, you can expect more successful boardroom meetings and better performance of your company.