What is a Meeting?
The meeting is a way of interactive group communication. When three or more people come together to communicate information or ideas in an organized manner. It also takes place to discuss some issues brought before them, to take decisions, and to solve problems. It is a purpose-oriented activity.
In other words, it refers to a get-together of people for a common cause and agenda.
The person who calls the meeting is the convenor, whereas the person who presides over the meeting is the chairperson.
It involves direct face-to-face communication between the members present at the meeting. It is necessary at all levels of the organization.
Meeting assists in the following:
- Exchange of information
- Development of team spirit
- Commitment towards goals and objectives.
Besides, it also facilitates explaining ideas, removing confusion, clarifying concepts, and so on (if any), that arises due to ambiguous verbal messages.
In short, any misunderstanding or confusion resulting from unclear memos, circulars, notices, and so forth can be cleared by way of meetings.
The meeting can be a formal or informal one.
There are predefined rules to hold and undertake a formal meeting. Also, it has a written record of proceedings that may take place in it. First of all, to convene a meeting notice is served to the members. This notice is nothing but an invitation to all the participants to attend it. Besides, it has an agenda or a list of tasks that are to be dealt with in it.
Further, the outcome of the meeting is systematically penned down in the form of minutes of the meeting.
Annual General Meeting and Extraordinary General Meeting are the common examples of such meetings.
Such meetings do not require the issuance of any notice to the members. Also, the meetings can be held at any place like lunchroom or canteen. The matter also does not relate to the work.
A union meeting is an example of an informal meeting.
Types of Meeting
- Informative: In such a meeting, the objective is to provide information to the members regarding a new program, idea, or scheme related to the product.
- Consultative: As the name suggests, these meetings involve consultation with the participants about a certain matter to solve a problem.
- Executive: A meeting in which decisions are taken by the authorized persons.
Purpose of Meetings
Practically, meetings are held for serving multiple purposes. It may include:
- Effective Communication of Information
- Discussion of complex issues and finding solutions to problems.
- Reaching a common agreement or consensus
- Getting timely updates
- Deliberating on matters of concern
- Informing, explaining, and presenting ideas
- Giving and getting feedback on ideas
- Providing training
- Bringing together various units and settling disputes among them
- Obtaining commitments
- Formulating policies
- Fixing targets
- Addressing employee’s concern
- Encouraging people to achieve common goals.
- Planning and preparing course of action
- Resolving differences and misunderstandings
- Reviewing past performance and evaluating it.
Why meetings are held?
Meetings are held in order to:
- Save time in communication
- Discuss and solve problems relating to business
- Give and get new ideas and immediate feedback
- Create enthusiasm and a positive attitude
- Reach consensus on issues that are set forth
Golden Rules For Meeting
A meeting should start and end on time. So, it should have a proper time schedule.
- It should be carried out when no telephonic discussion is possible.
- There has to be a clear and specific agenda and sub-agenda.
- It should have clearly defined objectives
- Issuance of notice in the specified form and in a timely manner to all the participants is mandatory.
- Stating the time limit for each item of the agenda and sub-agenda.
- The conclusion of the meeting requires summarization
- Preparation and circulation of minutes so that everyone could read and understand.
- It should end up on a pleasant note
Important Preparatory Points
List of items to be put forward for discussion at the time of the meeting. It gives the reason for convening a meeting. One must ensure that there is a sufficient number of important issues for deliberation at the meeting. Further, all the subjects and issues that are put forth in the meeting require advanced efforts. Also, they should be relevant and appropriate as regards the purpose of the meeting.
In all the meetings that are convened, there are a set of background papers. The organizers must provide these background papers to the participants beforehand. These are commonly related to the items which are enlisted in the agenda and give a peep of all the issues that are put forth. Functionaries or departments who look for decisions on the matter or deliberation prepare background papers.
This may include facts, figures, expert opinions, various perspectives, and current scenarios. Besides, it should also state what is expected of the meeting and members as well.
Whom to Invite
All the concerned functionaries should be involved in the deliberation. Also, regular members of committees. Further, if there is no formal list, it is pertinent to recognize people whose presence is important when the matter is put forth for deliberation. Also, some subject matter experts, junior-level functionaries, and senior-level functionaries are also called for.
Timing and Venue
Meetings require careful planning so that it is convenient for almost all the members or participants to attend them. A notice served in advance will help the participants to have sufficient time to schedule or reschedule their engagements accordingly. In addition, the date and time should be decided while taking into considerations holidays, and other events and functions.
This is to avoid any clashes. Further, the organizer has to make sure that most of the members are in a position to come and attend it.
Timely starting the meeting is very important. The venue must have to be open and ready, sending reminders to the chairperson and all other participants. One must also make certain that:
- Background papers have reached the members on time
- Tables items are placed properly and
- The Chairperson and Organizers are at the venue before the scheduled time.
Time management is the crux because when a meeting starts and ends on time, it provides sufficient time for proper deliberation of the items enlisted and also ensures cost-effectiveness.
Over time, the way in which the mode of convening the meetings in organizations has changed. Nowadays face-to-face meetings to online meetings through video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and so forth.
Unlike, face-to-face meetings, people are not physically present in one room in an online meeting. Rather they are present at different geographical locations. Apart from that telephone meetings and teleconferencing methods are also in vogue at present.
To perform online meetings availability of internet and computer systems or smartphones is necessary.