Should meetings go the way of the dinosaur?

Meetings are an integral part of any organization. Meetings provide a platform where executives can interact with each other and take decisions regarding key problems. Besides this, meetings also provide a safe environment for all who would be present in order to speak openly.Management Meeting.

But in today’s business environment, there is a huge subsection of employees who view meetings as a waste of time. I wouldn’t say they are wrong because meetings nowadays tend to be so extensive and laborious that they end up merely consuming one’s time and energy.

But even so, meetings cannot be avoided because they act as a check on the progress of the organization.

Let’s look at a few reasons why meetings play an important part in any organization:-

  • Better decisions – Although there are few instances where decisions are not made at meetings due to some reasons, but most of the time meetings play a vital role in the decision making process. This may be due to the fact that in the setting of a meeting, different individuals are able to put in their own perspectives which sometimes shed light on some key issues which are being pondered on.
  • Better resolution of conflicts – Conflicts are expected to arise in any professional environment. Sometimes these conflicts don’t get resolved and they end up inflicting damage on the work environment. Meetings provide a safe environment for the conflicting parties to sit down and discuss their problems and reach a mutually accepted decision.
  • Thorough follow-up and follow-through – What is actually important is not what happens during a meeting, but what happens after it. The decisions taken during a meeting give purpose and direction to employees. They feel more motivated because they are given an opportunity to present their individual ideas and perspectives and in the process are made to feel important and a part of the team.

I believe there is truth in the fact that meetings do take up a lot of time but at the same time meetings are important and they need to be conducted at regular intervals. Meetings have more merits than demerits. However, there are a few steps that can be taken to ensure that meetings are more productive rather than time consuming. Here are a few tips to make workplace meetings more effective:-

  • The objective of the meeting should be precise and it should be understood by all who are present for the meeting.
  • Only invite those individuals to the meeting who are relevant for the topic being discussed.
  • Start and end the meeting punctually so as to wrap up the work in a timely fashion.
  • Ensure there are break intervals during the meeting to negate wavering attention and boredom.
  • Avoid using PowerPoint presentations. A visual aid is usually helpful but a PowerPoint presentation tends to become the oft-used crutch by a weak speaker who struggles to engage the audience without it.
  • Closed boardroom meetings might be the norm in a workplace, but in a one-on-one scenario doing something different might actually be beneficial. For example, talk-and-walk nature meetings are becoming very popular in recent times.
  • Make sure meetings don’t end up being mundane and sad. Efforts should be made to keep the atmosphere a bit light so as to keep everybody’s attention on the topic at hand.
  • Unless it’s absolutely necessary, avoid using your laptops for the duration of the meeting.

Student Entry by – Himanshu Khound (Class of 2019)