What are the features of different types of meetings

What are the features of different types of meetings?

What are the features of different types of meetings

What are the features of different types of meetings?

Key Characteristics of Various Meeting Types

Meetings constitute an essential part of any organization’s operational framework, serving as a vehicle for communication, collaboration, and decision-making. Therefore, understanding key characteristics of different types of meetings is paramount in order to ensure that it can be utilized to greatest effect and that it facilitates and improves the given process.

What are the features of different types of meetings

Formal vs. Informal Settings

The former consists of meetings as a structured event, with a predefined agenda, clear objectives, and required participants list. Often, these meetings are held with adherence to certain protocol and are conducted on specific premises. For instance, the annual general meetings or board members meeting are considered formal, and they have a predetermined order of business. Minutes are also kept to formalize the discussion and decisions made.

As opposed to this, informal meetings, either planned with a more relaxed approach or spontaneous, take place in less rigid form. They may lack a pre-set agenda and are typically used to, for instance, discuss parisan affairs over lunch among members of certain departments or teams. The advantage of this form is that the informal setting tends to create a sense of camaraderie between participants and allows for more open dialogue. The downside is that not all key personnel may be present, and not all ideas may be aired and taken into account.

Daily Standups and Kick-off Sessions

Overall, among informal meetings, daily standups, and kick-off sessions demonstrate the most important characteristics that must be present in all such events. Daily standup, or daily scrum, is a swift meeting held each morning, lasting no more than 15 minutes or so. It follows the same pattern every time, with each participant speaking about what he achieved the day before, what he is planning to work on today, and what may be impeding his progress. The purpose of this meeting is to get the team members synchronized, to have all issues out on a board early so they could be resolved, and to provide direction.

Kick-off sessions, in turn, are associated with the beginning of a project or initiative. They are important because kick-off sessions serve to determine the character and direction of the entire project. Kick-off sessions are associated with delving into the scope of a project, defining roles and responsibilities, and determining the timeline. Thus, a successful kick-off session is important not only to align the team but also to generate excitement and determination about the potential success of the project.

Planning and Executing Productive Meetings

There is no doubt that careful planning of the work and the procedure of conducting helps come up with productive meetings. However, to ensure that it happens, meticulous planning and execution of each step are required. Let us go through the strategies that allow hosting a productive meeting.

Setting clear agendas

First and foremost, clear and well-defined agenda becomes a foundation of any productive meeting. Leading an agenda provides participants with planning and clearly divides the meeting into separate stages. To create the agenda that works, make sure to:

  • Identify the purpose, state clearly why the topic is on the agenda, and what purpose does it serve: “Are we meeting just to make decisions, share information, solve a problem, generate alternatives, make plans, or evaluate alternatives?”
  • List the topics, start with those that spark the most interest or need solving. Make sure they are arranged logically, and related issues are grouped.
  • Allocate time slots, make sure to list how much time will be allocated to each topic in order to avoid running overtime. Normally, from 5 to 10 minutes are sufficient, depending on the complexity.
  • Designate individuals who will be leading the discussion, make sure to tell the participants that they need to do so in advance. It allows gathering necessary materials and getting prepared.

 

Selective participation

Secondly, it is important to understand that not all team members have to come to the meeting. Selective participation also ensures that people do not waste time during unnecessary topics. To help this do happen, it:

  • Assesses relevance, carefully go through the agenda, and understand who holds necessary expertise or decision-making power.
  • Communicate meetings, establish what is expected from each participant and communicate your requests in advance.

In order for a meeting to be successful, time and goal should be effectively managed. The following steps might be used to ensure that time is managed efficiently. First of all, it is of vital importance to establish time constraints. A simple way to manage time effectively is to decide when the meeting will start and end, and stick to this schedule. The next step is to set priorities and focus on the major objectives. This might be useful since “…people are at their best early in the morning… [and]… will have the best possible chance of making concrete progress towards the end of the working day”. Finally, it is also important to control the time and pace of the meeting. Monitoring the time, one may adjust focus of the meeting to get rid of any unnecessary details and discussions. Finally, it is also important to establish precise objectives for the meeting. What do you want to achieve by having the meeting: do you want to make a decision, to assign tasks, or to get acquainted with new ideas? That is, the meeting might not have any objectives, but in this case it turns into an extended conversation.

Decision making meetings and Strategic planning meetings

To sum up, the following recommendations might be made in terms of turning a boring and endless meeting into a powerful tool of managing the organization. Meetings can be of different formats, depending on the aims and functions to be completed by the management team. The structure of the meeting may vary depending on whether the team should simply inform, or make a decision. In addition, in some cases the team might want to form some ideas, change the group structure, or deliver the most appropriate solution.

  • Decision making meetings – the objective is to make a decision on a pre-defined topic. For instance, picking a new marketing strategy or selecting the new project partner.
  • Structured conversation – participants discuss and make decision in a structured way using different assets, such as SWOT analysis or cost benefited analysis.
  • Conclusive outcomes – at the end of the meeting, a vote is taken or a conversation is held to provide a consensus on the decision. Hence, conclusion can be taken to move forward.
  • Strategic planning meetings – in contrast to decision making meetings, these meetings do not try to solve existing issues but try to guarantee the future of the company.
  • Future forecasting – setting the vision of the company for the next several years. For instance, let’s assume that we will double our revenue or will enter a new market.
  • Allocating resources – understanding what resources would be needed by the company to fulfill strategic goal and how these resources will be allocated.
  • Risk assessment – understanding potential threats and challenges and discussing how risk can be managed or avoided.

Training, status update and retrospective

Training is used to transfer knowledge or learn a new skill. Attributes of the training meeting can be:

  • Dynamics – training should be interactive, engaging and using case studies that would make learning interesting.
  • Facilitation – training should be held either by the coach or expert who would be able to lead participants and answer their questions.
  • Skills transfer – learning of the new skill should be complemented by the activity how this skill can be applied at work, including additional training materials or practical experience.

Status update meetings occur regularly and employees are updating their status on the meeting, including what has been achieved and what needs to be done. Attributes of the training meeting include:

  • Objective Analysis:
    • Process and Outcome: Evaluating the process of project implementation and its outcome without placing blame.
    • Actionable Insights: Lessons learned from the previous steps can be applied to future projects to improve their performance.
    • Continuous Improvement: Implementing the insights in a long-term development plan.

All-Hands Meetings and Team Building

All-Hands Meetings:

  • Inclusive: All the members of the organization are involved, which helps everyone feel part of the bigger picture.
  • Vision- and Value-Based: It emphasizes the vision and values of the company to bring individuals together with the common objectives.
  • Open to Feedback: Everyone should have a chance to voice their thoughts and concerns for a two-way dialogue.

10+ Types of Meetings

Team Building:

  • Engaging: There should be various activities that require teamwork, such as problem-solving challenges or adventures.
  • Skill Development: Focus should be on skills that can be applied to work, such as communication, trust-building, or leadership abilities.
  • Fun: There should be a fun bonding experience with an element of relaxation and enjoyment.

Conclusion

In conclusion, by utilizing these two different types of meeting formats, organizations can ensure that their gatherings are structured with a purpose and contribute both to the achievement of immediate and long-term goals. It is particularly important to focus on establishing specific formats because every meeting should serve a purpose – from decision-making to team building. Understanding and correctly using different formats can have a profound influence on the operational effectiveness of any organization.

Tips for Running Efficient Meetings Across Boards

In conclusion, whether it is the boardroom full of high-ranking executives or a 20-person startup team spread out across different time zones trying to meet their tight deadline, the same principles appear. Effective meeting management is crucial for ensuring any organization’s success.

Promoting engagement and feedback

Engagement is the key to a successful meeting. Here is how one can encourage an active engagement in a meeting:

  • Use open-ended questions: For example, “What would be the best option to approach the problem? Would it not be beneficial to…”
  • Use visual aids: Visual materials help to maintain attention and show complex concepts in a simple way.
  • Two-minutes rule: Give each participant two minutes at the beginning of the meeting. They can provide their update or statement. This helps to have everybody to say something but also sets a focus on the inclusive environment.

Leveraging technology for remote meetings

Since the Covid pandemic remote meetings have become very frequent. Here is how one can utilize technology to achieve the same outcome remotely:

  • Choose medium: WordPress for smaller conference, G-suite for presentations or desktop sharing, MS Teams or Zoom: for both small conferences and larger discussion & presentations, screen sharing.
  • Technical preparedness: Installation and configuration of the software required to take part in a meeting should be done prior to meeting. The beginning of the meeting can be employed for a technical check.
  • Audio and video quality: Participants should connect through both audio and video, using headphones and ensuring camera is positioned at the level of eyes.

Adapting to the purpose of a meeting

Different meetings have different purposes and one should adjust his/her approach according to the needs:

  • Agile meetings: For projects which have short duration and frequent changes, one should use different, more flexible meeting structures. Drop-in or stand-ups, or retrospectives or sprint review meetings are some of the examples of such meetings, which are short, focused and action-oriented and have a clear next step describing what will happen next.
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