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Sometimes an email is not enough. There are decisions in the business field that can only be carried out with the impulse of a face-to-face meeting between those responsible for the departments involved, or even among members of different companies and institutions. Like any protocol act, a meeting requires to fulfill some steps for its correct development. That’s why we explain how to organize a formal meeting.
Previous phase: organization of the meeting
First of all, it is worth asking a question: “Is it really necessary to organize a meeting for this topic?” And these quotes are often, and rightly so, reputed to be authentic time-consuming, taking too many hours without resolving the issues discussed. Therefore, it is necessary to consider each time a meeting is going to be organized if there really is a need for it , or if the question to be addressed can be fixed much more quickly with a couple of emails, some phone calls or even a video conference session through from Skype or a Google hangout.
Once the decision has been made, the number of people attending will be determined and the invitation sent, preferably by written means and in advance, for example 15 days if it is a matter of citing people who have to travel from another city, although it will depend on the agenda and the situation of each company.
One recommendation: the more people go the more the meeting will be externalized, so it is convenient not to mention more than the essential people. Days before the meeting, it is convenient to confirm the attendance of each of the guests by telephone.
In addition to the list of people, it is also necessary to establish an estimated duration of the meeting, indicate an agenda and establish a place for the meeting, in a room equipped for this purpose. All this must come well explained in the citation document that is sent to each participant of the meeting.
If an appropriate meeting room is not available in the workplace, or if you are not going to be free for the day set for the meeting, you can always use a convention center or a hotel or business center that has spaces enabled. Depending on the meeting, you may need an Internet connection, enough plugs, projector or video conferencing equipment.
On the same day of the meeting, the room must be checked beforehand, check that the lighting, sound and computer equipment work smoothly and that the furniture is properly arranged. Water and glasses must also be placed next to each seat. If the meeting schedule advises, you can prepare some coffee and snacks, either before the meeting, or as a break.
Development of the meeting
The brevity is important, so that the act is not externalized. Therefore, it is convenient to keep an agenda and follow it closely, trying not to deviate from the issues discussed and in any case leaving for later or for another subsequent meeting the secondary issues that may arise.
If it is not the first meeting around the same topic, you can start by recapping the issues discussed and the agreements reached previously. It is advisable that one of the participants, or several taking turns if it is deemed appropriate, at the meeting act as a secretary, carrying a draft report on the development of the same.
At the end a small decision report is left ready and, if necessary, the date of the next meeting is established.
More calmly, the draft report on the meeting is cleaned up. Also, it is tried to leave in good conditions the room used, and the preparations for the next meeting are organized, beginning the process again.