Meetings are one of those necessary evils in many offices or organizations. They can be one of the best and most efficient ways to pass down information or they can be a dreadful waste of time. However, there are many mistakes in other young professionals. They make the same mistakes consistently enough that it will quickly cause damage to their reputation and image.
What type of meeting is it?
There are several different types of meetings that one can be expected to attend in an office setting or on the free video chat if we are talking about online meetings. Some meetings, however, take on several different combinations of these purposes.
While meetings make take on different forms or functions they each have some features in common. In every meeting we attend, our conduct, our contributions, and our commitment levels can be seen and evaluated by our peers as well as our superiors. How we behave, talk to strangers and respond in meetings and how well we are prepared can all be observed and measured. If you want to survive in the workplace, you need to develop some savvy meeting skills. Know what type of meeting you are going to be attending. Knowing how to prepare for this online conference meeting, and knowing how to act will go a long way in giving you the professional edge you need to succeed.
Informational online meetings are often held by the leaders in the organization to pass down information to everyone at one time. These meetings are usually more formal and are not open for general discussion. Informational meetings may also take on a more motivational tone to ramp everyone up and encourage us to forge ahead. Be sure to take lots of notes during informational meetings. You are responsible for the information that has been given during the work video conference. If you don’t understand something or have a question, ask about it after the meeting.
Team building meetings are great to make sure everyone is on the same page and can learn to work together as a team. Sometimes these involve games or activities that seem silly, but in the long run, they help everyone get to know each other a little better and make our work environment friendlier. Team building meetings may also take on a motivational tone as our leaders encourage us to build our teams and learn to lean on each other. Team building meetings are very casual and can be a lot of fun. Lay aside your pride and get involved during these meetings.
Training meetings are terrific for introducing new skills or for increasing employee abilities. Training meetings are mutually beneficial. They benefit the organization because they are educating their staff their way. They benefit the employees because they can increase their marketability for promotions or potentially other jobs. Teaching skills that will grow the organization within the organization will maximize everyone’s potential. If your organization offers training meetings keep in mind that your willingness to learn, or lack thereof, speaks volumes about your character and your commitment to growth.
Brainstorming meetings can be extremely productive or can become an incredible waste of time. If the meeting can be kept on track, brainstorming meetings can produce some very creative, out-of-the-box ideas. If the live chat with girls and boys becomes a big debate over ideas or is allowed to chase after rabbit trails, nothing good will come out of it. Having several minds working together toward the same purpose where everyone contributes is where teamwork is at its finest. If you are involved in brainstorming meetings, be sure to contribute to the discussion but avoid arguing your points or running down rabbit trails with outlandish ideas that won’t apply to the situation at hand.
Planning online video chat meetings take place when there is a project at hand and everyone involved is needed to pitch in and help. Planning meetings should not be confused with brainstorming meetings. Planning meetings usually take place after brainstorming meetings have already taken place and the project along with the theme and basic ideas have already been decided. Planning meetings are often ones where each task involved in the project is assigned. Depending on the size and scale of the project, these meetings should have several follow-up meetings where everyone can report the progress of their specific task. If you are involved in planning meetings be sure to take ownership of the task you’ve been assigned.
Proposal meetings are ones where one party is conference presenting an idea or product to another. If you have an idea to propose and you find yourself in your supervisor’s office sharing your ideas, you’d better be prepared. Being prepared will make or break the proposal. Know your facts. Do your research. Be prepared for push-back and questions yet flexible enough to take suggestions. You may want to rehearse with a friend or family member before the meeting.
One-on-one meetings are your opportunity to meet with your supervisor and/or are for those under you to meet with you. These meetings are a great way to keep a system of checks and balances throughout the org chart. If your employees have one-on-ones with you, allow them to set the agenda. Allow them to ask you questions in an informal, relaxed setting. If you have one-on-ones with your supervisor, be sure to have a list of items you wish to discuss at hand. Some professionals I know will have a typed bullet-pointed agenda sent to their supervisor ahead of time. The point is, to come prepared. Don’t waste your boss’s time by having nothing of value to say.
These one-on-one meetings aren’t the same as an employee review or evaluation. One-on-one meetings function the best when they can happen on a regular recurring basis. Reviews or evaluations should happen once every six months to a year.
Many meetings will take on several combinations of each of these types. Knowing what type of meeting you are getting ready to walk into, however, will make an incredible difference. If the type of meeting is not clear from the calendar invite, ask questions. Do the necessary research so that you can enter the conference room with confidence and poise.
When It’s Your Meeting:
When you’re the one calling the meeting and you’re the one setting the agenda, many of the above dos and don’ts will still apply. However, you have an added responsibility to make sure the meeting has a purpose and stays on task. These tips can help you manage the time of your meeting wisely.
- Give attendees advanced notice and as much preliminary information as possible. Allow them the opportunity to come prepared.
- Have a set agenda ready. Know what type of meeting you are conducting and the purpose you want to accomplish.
- Stay on task. Don’t allow the meeting to chasing after rabbits. Don’t chase those rabbits yourself. Keep to the agenda as much as possible.
- Start and end your meeting on time. Your time is valuable and so is everyone else’s time. Respect their schedules.