A Few “Contrarian” Tips to Successfully Conduct a Business Meeting

by | Published on May 10, 2019 | Business Transcription

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As business transcription service providers, we know that business meetings are a necessity for companies and during meetings many critical decisions are made to promote the growth of the company. Although meetings are important, some people believe they are a waste of time. In the present world of social media and virtual meetings, face-to-face meetings are important to share ideas and opinions, improve innovation, ensure collaboration and gain inspiration.
A Few "Contrarian" Tips to Successfully Conduct a Business Meeting
To conduct a productive meeting there are many useful recommendations such as consider meetings as gatherings, choose a quiet place with enough lighting, have an agenda before the meeting, keep the meeting short, provide enough breaks, consider everyone’s opinions and so on. Apart from these basic tips, there are some contrarian or unusual tips that could help you run a business meeting smoothly. So here are four approaches suggested by Dr. Steven Rogelberg, chancellor’s professor and director of organizational science at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, (quoted by Stephanie Overby in an enterprisers project.com article) that IT leaders can consider to make their meetings more productive:

  • Be cautious about biased self assessment: Studies have shown that when an individual rates his/her own performance, they tend to give more marks to themselves. Dr. Steven Rogelberg and his colleagues found that meeting leaders consistently rated their meetings more favorable that those in the attendance. According to Rogelberg, it is important that IT leaders include meeting performance questions on employee engagement surveys or within 360-degree assessments, or survey their teams themselves. Only with such information organizations and individual leader can understand whether their meetings are working. This will also help them remain aware of employee feedback on how to improve meetings.
  • Look out for meeting bloat: One of most common mistakes that Rogelberg has come across is that meetings are too big due to various reasons from the desire to be inclusive to a lack of critical analysis. According to an experiment by a French professor of agricultural engineering, volunteers were asked to pull a rope as hard as they could. The results of the experiment showed that collective performance declined as the group got bigger and bigger. People in twos performed to 93 percent of their ability, people in groups of three performed to 85 percent and people in groups of eight performed to 49 percent of their ability. So, for a meeting it is always better to invite the right number of people for information dissemination. According to Rogelberg, 8 to 12 is the ideal number of people required for idea generation, agenda setting etc.
  • Make sure there is some silence: “Less is always more”. Rogelberg says, “As crazy as it might sound on the surface, there are a host of techniques that cultivate silence to create dynamic, engaging, and rich meetings.” Many studies have been conducted to compare the brainstorming results of two types of meeting set up: Type A- where ideas generated are shared out loud and interactively and Type B wherein the participants write down the ideas generated onto a paper. The results showed that the participants who interacted during the meeting tend to produce significantly fewer and lower-quality ideas than the non-talking attendees. So IT business leaders can include “brainwriting” during their meetings as it produces more original ideas.
  • Shorten the meeting duration: In most organizations, meetings last for at least an hour. In a study, management researchers asked college students to complete a fixed set of simple math problems, giving them some “excess time,” while some others were given  just the right amount of time. Those students who were given excess time took significantly longer to complete the problems. The same thing happens during meetings.  So, make sure that your meetings are not too long.  A 48-minute meeting is the ideal choice. 10 to 15 minute- meetings are also good and these types of meetings are common in high-stake workplaces like military, emergency, and hospital settings. Studies show that small meetings can enhance future individual and team performances.

Meetings are highly productive and provide ample opportunity to plan strategies, and set goals and objectives. Documentation is important for all types of meetings. To have on record all important decisions taken in the meeting and the ideas discussed, consider hiring a transcription company to record the meeting and transcribe it into accurate notes.

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