The current business space and combining them with new digital devices connected to the Internet have made us multifunctional and almost ubiquitous, we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
This permanent availability to meet personal and business issues have made us techno-dependent on our Smartphone, tablets and laptops, but most of them of the programs that draw us to be attentive to the slightest signal and if it does not sound in a short period of time began to suspect that something happens to the device.
Welcome to the 21st century, as would the gurus who anticipated these realities, the challenge now is to recognize not only the symptoms but to build alternatives and strategies to make our meetings more productive spaces without falling into the temptation to “return to the past” confiscating equipment, leaving them out or asking to go out.
Conduct meetings can become a challenge that requires high levels of creativity to achieve meet the objectives for which we have invited a group of executives with busy schedules and multiple situations to solve and, therefore, behooves us to attend the show of meetings. Where all we want to pay attention but at the same time, we are in virtual conversations, answering emails and in the worst case by visiting our social networks because the theme of the meeting is not relevant.
The communications revolution invites us to rediscover the purpose for which meetings in organizations were created and generate alternatives that integrate classroom with virtual so that we can take full advantage of new technologies with the required contributions of participants in the meetings.
Gone are the times where executives spent more hours at an airport in his office, where hotels were the second home that allowed wonder where family and enjoyed dining gatherings that made us feel citizens of the universe. Those times where travel was imperative to ensure the success of business management is being re – evaluated and is now a happy reminiscence financial manager no longer want to remember.
The reality is that we can now attend meetings via video conference and do not even need to be in one place, we can do from a public place or being on the move. The alternatives offered by Smartphone entire groups allow you to connect to a virtual conversation and / or can be coordinated from a corporate conference room represent a benefit to the efficiency and productivity.
Still a way to go on this responsibility to make meetings spaces where the effectiveness is improved; from recognizing whether the meeting was really necessary, define the number and quality of the guests to ensure that the meeting has a beginning and an end (on many occasions we know what time begins but not what time ends).
Another aspect, which represents a challenge to run a meeting, has to do with the ability to ensure service levels that are productive during the meeting.
What to do when attendees carry laptops and are constantly writing? We assume that you are taking notes of the interesting dissertation? The speaker will be answering e ? perhaps preparing his own intervention ?.What to do with those who are writing on your Smartphone? Will be memories that are carrying? Answering chats? Finally, it is a challenge to the imagination that tests the creativity.
Do not forget that some of the characteristics of effective meetings deal with the following aspects:
- They have a clear and specific subject for trying
- Assist those who have to do with the subject and can make decisions
- They have a definite duration.
- Attendees know what their contribution and come prepared
- Interventions are aimed at achieving the objective of the meeting
- Casuistry unnecessary spaces are avoided
- It allows and values that have difference of opinions
This brief reflection aims to motivate all we have to convene and conduct meetings to incorporate sooner rather than later the use of new technologies, so that we can encourage the participation of those in other latitudes but whose contribution is valuable in the efforts we made. It is an invitation to share the strategies that we are using and perhaps in this way we can help each other.
Good practices for effective meetings
Many times when we are invited to a meeting think or hear expressions such as “Back to waste time”, or “I have a lot of work and I cannot attend because you never stop in time”, among others.
This article aims to raise awareness of good practices to achieve conduct effective meetings.
A meeting may be defined according to the “event that two or more people come together to discuss a predetermined topic such as planning a business event, community event, etc. usually formally.” Default means that it is already known in advance.
Another definition of Vanderhaar, Riggs (2001) authors, is “Coming together with one another, ” and asserts that “is done to achieve a goal of a group of people, make decisions, and take action, share information, identify, develop or gather ideas, to seek the support of the group or organization in achieving a goal. ”
The frequency of meetings can vary from daily, weekly, monthly, bimonthly, quarterly, etc.
Prior to conducting any meeting should make a list of participants, notify and send the agenda of the same.
There are no rules to notify meeting invitees on it but specifies that we should consider how long it will require guests to review the material, prepare your ideas, create documents or conduct research within order to be prepared for our meeting.
As described above meetings and other reasons cannot be reported the same day that will be carried out as it would not be acceptable, the only exception would be where it is an emergency meeting. Incurring such, practice can lead to affect productivity and steals the time that people have planned for another task.
The right thing is to notify the guests enough time to make these become more successful and productive.
If we receive an invitation to a meeting, we must ask if required to prepare something in advance if not required us. The idea is that participants can have all the necessary information in their pre-meeting begins hands and it should only make decisions, thereby investing less time in it.
For persons participating in a meeting specifies that when we prepare to participate in a meeting must do the following:
- Knowing the purpose of the meeting and what our purpose in attending
- Get all the information that we bring
- The agenda to be followed and ensure that our agenda coincides with the meeting
- Knowing our role and the way forward
- Arrive on time and be in the meeting room until it ends
- Take the meeting seriously, but also have some fun while participating in it.
For those who have no good control of the meetings recommends the following steps:
- Reduce the number of meetings scheduled
- Always create an agenda and draw a target to achieve
- Follow the agenda while the meeting takes place, if they annotate and schedule new ideas for the next meeting.
- An analysis of the cost of meetings, the idea is to show how much money is lost to conduct meetings that are not effective.
We must always keep in mind that meetings are costly activities if they will not be effective, this implies that they should focus on all other important activities of the company.
An agenda must contain meeting place, which must bear the attendees, what should be read prior to it, the points to be covered, date and time will be made, a list of participants and duration of it. If the agenda could not be delivered in advance can be distributed at the beginning of the meeting and also may be asked participants if they wish to include some additional item.
Some experts recommend inviting only people directly involved in achieving the goal to be achieved at the meeting.
If we have guests who do not see our meeting as a priority suggested by the assigning any agenda item and even with some information to the meeting on one of the first topics. When a meeting is planned at the same time of ours, one of the two must be reprogrammed and ensure that all guests can attend both. If we have guests arriving late we recommend sending an e-mail saying they make the effort to get there early because it will not repeat what has been said.
Experts in the field say that the best times for meetings are 9:00 a.m. (Before starting the day) and 3:00 pm (after lunch).
Meetings should only be performed if they really are needed. We must address the issues that are of interest to all first and then those who are more particular, this is for people who are not required to be in the full meeting them can return to their jobs.
If the meeting usually lengthens recommends the following steps to correct it:
- Carefully plan the agenda
- Assign someone to take or control the meeting time
- Reject discuss points of the agenda (should take notes for inclusion in another agenda).
- Evaluate the process of meeting at the end of the same
The meeting time can be shortened if assigned obtaining information or document review before it is made.
Also recommends the following 10 commandments for effective meetings:
- Always know what time it is (Time is God in the meetings)
- Never forget the main reason for the meeting
- Remember the golden rule in meetings: “Praying in public, criticize in private”
- Do not agree meetings outside normal working hours, unless it is an emergency.
- Do not use groups to reach conclusions
- Do not use the meetings to destroy the career of other
- Keep separate issues people work matters
- Remember that the best model for meetings is democracy, not a monarchy
- Always prepare a clear agenda and circulate it in advance among participants
- End a regularly scheduled meeting when the purpose to realize it no longer exists
If commitments are generated during the meeting, they should be allocated and included in a plan of action where minimum set how responsible and the estimated end date. Ideally, this would be that each participant is assigned one of the points so that all become involved in the dynamics of the meeting. The decisions has arrived equipment must be documented.
Susan Heathfield, expressed in his article entitled “Effective Meetings produces results: Tips for meeting management” that should include the following items to have an effective action plan:
- The specific point of action
- The name of the person who was assigned the action point
- The date will be completed
It also tells us that our actions after the meeting until next is crucial to achieving the points in the action plan. The minutes should be published no later than 24 hours after the meeting held.
For each meeting should set rules. Carter McNamara, in his article “Basic guide to conducting effective meetings” suggests four powerful basic rules that cultivate the basic ingredients for a successful meeting:
Participate Maintain focus, momentum and achieve Keep closing. A good practice is to start meetings on time because if not practice became habit.
Meetings are necessary to maintain communication within the company, performed teamwork and are as important as any other key activity of the company because in them: make decisions, solve problems, exchange information, plans, between other.
Following the tools discussed in this article, we can enhance the efficiency plus our work and that of others.