Conducting business meetings are an integral part of an organization. It enables you to maintain a record of the best approaches and practices to accomplish the company’s goals and targets. Keeping up to date with current events will enable you to share ideas, give and receive feedback, resolve issues, facilitate decision-making and collaboration.
Regardless of how big your company’s size is, business meetings would continue to be crucial when it comes to determining and achieving your objectives. Check out these note-taking tips for productive business meetings.
1. Start with a goal
The first step in any meeting is to consider the main objective. What do you intend to walk away with? How will you know the meeting was a success? Don’t enter the meeting without any preparation, even if it’s a casual one where the agenda isn’t set in stone.
Let’s say your goal is to discuss and decide on a new business idea or project. You want everyone who attends to have an equal opportunity to contribute their thoughts on how and when it should be done. Your notes should be different if your objective is to make sure people feel involved and appreciated, as long as there might be some concerns about employees believing they are not involved in the decision-making process at work.
When running meetings yourself, think through these questions before starting the meeting. If you don’t concisely outline what you aim to achieve at the beginning of a meeting, it will be challenging for people to understand what you expect of them.
2. Do a quick round of introductions
There’s a thought that may come to your mind: “But I know everybody! Why bother introducing myself?” Of course you could skip this step, but it’s a good idea to make sure everyone is clear about their responsibilities. A quick round of introductions will help everyone feel comfortable and at ease, whether they were added to the meeting invite last minute or are in a new position.
Leaders can introduce themselves and then ask others to follow up with their names and roles. Alternatively, you can go around the table one by one for a more thorough introduction. However, if time is short or your colleagues aren’t particularly chatty, stick with their names and roles at minimum.
Including an element of fun to your introductions will lead directly into smooth conversation for those who aren’t used to communicating face-to-face about work-related topics.
3. Record any action items
Though it may sound dramatic, taking notes at business meetings is one of the most important aspects that leads to successful outcomes, and ultimately a productive business meeting. One key to incorporating this tactic is to take note of all action items discussed. This means identifying how and when each action item will be carried out. Keep your notes specific, making sure they address each posed question explicitly. Since these action items are being written down, make sure they are aligned with SMART goals: (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely). The other aspect of action item notes should be a reminder to send out a follow up email shortly after the meeting. By sending this email, you intend to convey the agreed upon next steps from your discussion and an update on any timeframes for completion.
Productive and efficient business meetings incorporate processes that keep you focused, provide you with the appropriate resources, and define a path to accomplish your objectives and targets. Lastly, the tips listed above will enable you to accomplish your goals and assist in making your business meetings more efficient and rewarding.