Using an Agenda and Allowing Time For Discussion

A business meeting is a formal gathering of people who are attracted by the same thing. They are organized according to specific needs and are controlled by rules and procedures to ensure that they are efficient and fair. Business meetings can be held in person or through video conferencing. Making meetings more efficient can be accomplished by creating an agenda and providing time for discussion.

When the meeting begins it is important to outline the agenda quickly and clearly and ensure that everyone understands what is expected from them. The leader of the meeting must also define how decisions will be reached – by consensus, majority vote, or by the chairman alone – to avoid confusion regarding who is accountable for what. It is also important to wait until all participants have arrived before starting the discussion, so they can be fully engaged in the discussion.

It is a common mistake to get caught up in small, but important issues to the detriment whose significance is more in the long run, but this is usually corrected by setting a goal for when discussions on the subjects will begin, and sticking to it. Also, it is advisable to establish a time limit for the meeting, as only a handful of meetings can produce anything worth mentioning after two hours and it could save hours of secretarial calling at the end of the day to determine a short meeting duration on the agenda.

Sometimes, a person will have something of value to share but is so nervous about the potential reaction of others that he chooses to keep the information to himself. The chairman should be aware and encourage contributions from such people by expressing excitement and interest at their usefulness instead of expressing gratification for their acceptance.

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