Before I start with today’s article, I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for reading HR Bartender given everything that’s going on right now in the world. I know that for many of us, our work and home lives have been completely disrupted. Mr. Bartender and I are hoping that we can continue to provide you with resources to make your work lives a little easier and more productive. If you have questions or suggestions, please let us know. Be safe out there!
Some of the people reading today’s message are doing it while working from home. Others might be at their work location, but half of their co-workers are working from home. Regardless of your situation, chances are that at some point, someone is going to say, “We need to meet about that.”
Business meetings are hard. They can be even more difficult when they’re virtual. Here are a few resources to help you have the best business meetings possible.
As a general rule, people do not complain when the reason for scheduling a meeting is legit. They will always complain if a meeting was called and it could have been handled with an email. One of the best skills to have as a working professional is the ability to run a good business meeting. The first step is knowing when to call the meeting.
Sometimes the phrase “let’s meet about this” sounds so casual that it might send the message that meetings are easy. Truth be told, meetings are hard work. The real key to a successful meeting is planning. If you really take the time to plan and prepare, it has a definite impact on the outcome of the meeting.
When you’re invited to a meeting, it’s because people want you to share your thoughts. Just because someone is talking a lot is no excuse not to participate. If you don’t talk at meetings you could be sending the wrong message – such as you don’t have anything to contribute, you don’t care about the outcome, or you simply agree with everything in the conversation.
The perfect one-on-one meeting is casual and conversational. It’s also consistent, and that consistency brings trust and preparedness. To help managers prepare for their next one-on-one meeting, bookmark this page and share it around your office. Also, download the employee feedback and coaching templates to use as a conversation guide.
Learning conversations do not have to involve platform skills and a bunch of fancy props. Rather, they simply require teaching managers how to structure and deliver effective 1:1 meetings. This 5-step method is an ideal activity to include in the company’s management development or manager onboarding program.
Many organizations already train and coach managers on how to conduct a one-on-one meeting. Organizations should make the investment and do the same for employees. After all, they’re one-half of the 1:1 meeting and need to take responsibility for their side of the conversation.
Documenting what occurs during the meeting is essential. The way meetings are recorded can have an impact on the outcome of the meeting. Using the SMART plan for meeting minutes also helps direct conversations toward key discussions like “We have a great idea here…now who’s going to take ownership for getting it done?”
Meetings are always going to always be a part of business, whether they’re in person or virtual. It’s important that we respect people’s time and conduct good meetings. Employees will appreciate us for it. And the business will get more done.
Image capture by Sharlyn Lauby after speaking at the SHRM Annual Conference in Las Vegas, NV11