- Mar 22, 2018
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How to Organize a Business Meeting
Contracts are won and lost during business meetings. Organizations are also set in progression or retrogression mode by outcomes of business meetings so it is very imperative to understand the spices of a successful meeting.
The main responsibility of the chairperson in a meeting is to help participants deal with the issues in a way that is both timely and adequately thorough.
The chair person is to define the rules and protocols to be observed to people new to the meeting.
These rules can include permission to check mails or not, permission to receive calls or not and criteria for giving suggestion or recommending solutions during the meeting.
The chair person is to point out the matters arising which need ample time for deliberations. The chairperson should be prepared to summarize issues to shape the discussion. This is especially when issues are complex or when members have major disagreements. It is necessary for the chairperson to be more enlightened and experience than the other members. This will promote the quality of his or her summary during meetings.
The chairperson should pay attention to the people as well as the task. The chairperson should be prepared to resolve conflicts during conflict during meetings. This is because people don’t like their suggestions ignored.
The group’s consensus should be summarized after each point. This is to clearly state those responsible for implementing solutions that were recommended during the meeting.
Chairing a meeting involves a great level of self esteem, confidence and effective verbal and non verbal communication. This is to certify that information flows smoothly during the meeting.
DECISION MAKING METHODS
Two major decision making methods include the standard agenda and the dot planning.
- The Standard Agenda: This is a seven step process for solving problems.
- a) Understand what the group has to deliver, in what form, by what due date. Identify available resources.
- b) Identify the problem. What exactly is wrong? What questions the group is trying to answer.
- c) Gather information, share it with all group members, and examine it critically.
- d) Establish criteria. What would the ideal solution include? Which elements of the solution would be part of a less-than-ideal but still acceptable solution. What legal, financial, moral or other limitations might keep a solution from being implemented?
- e) Generate alternate solution. Brain storm and record ideas to proceed with the next step.
- f) Measure the alternatives against the criteria.
- g) Dot planning: This offers a way for large groups to choose priorities quickly. First the group brainstorms ideas, recording each on pages that are put on the wall. The individuals then get two strips of three to five adhesive dots in different colours. One colour represents high priority while the other represents low priority. Individuals then walk up to the pages and affix dots by points they care most about. Some groups allow one dot from one person while others allow more than one. The dots make it easy to see the most important issues to the group.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF PARTICIPANTS
Participants should take time to prepare for the meeting. They should read materials distributed before the meeting and think about issues to be discussed. These materials should be brought to the meeting and think about issues to be discussed. These materials should be brought to the meeting along with writing materials.
Participants should understand the use of English. They should be able to pass a lot of messages across within a short time frame. Participants should be well enlightened about business solutions. This is because solution oriented participants guarantee a successful meeting.
Participants should find an ally in the organization and agree ahead of time. This will help to strengthen the suggestion of a participant during the meeting.
Participants should handle oppositions and criticism of their suggestions in a matured and professional way.
DUTIES OF OFFICERS AND MEMBERS
Officers in an organization include the president, the vice president, the treasurer, the secretary, the social chairperson and service chairperson.
The duty of the president is to plan, delegate and evaluate set goals. He creates ideas and gives direction. He facilitates the process of completing and submitting organizational renewal information. He serves as officer or delegate who is primarily responsible for picking up mails.
He sets deadlines. He communicates ideas and information to members and appoints committees and task forces. He motivates and recognizes the achievements of officers and members. He attends external meetings or delegate representatives accordingly. The president draws an agenda for the meeting, inform the members prior to the meeting and follow the written agenda. He also meets with the executive board and advisor regularly to keep everyone appraised of organization business.
The vice president creates a functional leadership team. He has open and frequent communication with the president.
The treasurer keeps budget information current and receipts available to members upon request. Treasurers also assist organization officers in their activities on a sound business basis and ensure the consistence of account records.
The secretary reads the minutes at the beginning of each meeting. He or she post email or membership to ensure members about the update of records on previous meeting. Secretaries also forward the tasks or agenda to be considered in the next minute to members. The secretary records concise and precise information of the events of a meeting.
The social chairperson ensures that membership is aware of organization expectations before the meeting. They ensure that all the guests invited are on a guest list. They ensure that members understand their responsibility for their guest behaviour and the consequences associated with it.
The service chairperson selects service project for the coming year. They assist an organization in committing to a particular cause or service agency annually. They work with fundraising chairperson to determine potential philanthropic activities.
An agenda holds information about the venue and time of a meeting. It identifies who is sponsoring or introducing each item.
It specifies how much time is allocated for each item.
The minutes are accurate records of business conducted, decisions made and issues resolved at a meeting. Employees, management and shareholder depend on the minutes for many reasons and future decisions. There is therefore the need to adopt a number of strategies to produce accurate, brief and clear minutes. Notes for writing the minutes can be in the form of brief notes, verbatim reports which form the basis for the minutes, notes on the chairman’s agenda, tape recorded proceedings and a tabulated form with appropriate headings to be filled at the meeting.
Minutes are accurate when the true state of the affairs of the meeting is presented. Minutes are expected to follow the sequence of items presented in the agenda. The items should be numbered serially and continuously. The numbering should proceed with the acceptance of the last minutes.
Minutes of every meeting should contain the heading, attendance, reading of previous minutes, matters arising from the minutes, correspondence and apologies, business of meeting, any other business, adjournment and date of next meeting and signatures.
VIDEO CONFERENCING AND AUDIO CONFERENCING
Video conferencing generally refer to technologies associated with viewing while audio conferencing refers to technologies primarily associated with speaking. These technologies involve the integration of hard wares, soft ware’s, wireless area networks, local area networks and communication channels. This technology enables individuals to conduct meetings without getting together face to face.
Images in video conferencing are viewed on a large screen in a conference room, on television screens in multiple rooms and desktop computers with cameras.
These technologies allow participants to interact at the same time even when they are at different places. These meetings reduce travel expenses, time and fatigue. It helps to maintain a high level of concentration during meeting.
This helps to successfully resolve controversial issues during meetings.
The formal procedure of running meeting involves notification of members and officers about the meeting time, date, venue and target before the day. Members and officers should examine the matters arising carefully and prepare to professionally recommend solution to problems during the meeting.
The secretary should review the previous minutes for necessary corrections. During the meeting, the executives and chairperson are called to a high table. The presence of dignitaries is acknowledged and the terms of the meeting are spelt out to the members.
The secretary will read the previous minutes; it will be adapted or probed by the house. The meeting will commence fully with the reading out of the agenda. Deliberations will be made and the implementation committee will take note of the accepted solutions that will move the organization forward.