You are able to videoconference about the go now. It utilized to become that it had been quite costly to have a videoconferencing system. They really began with the movie phone calls within the early 70s.
The gear was costly and had to become create in each locations.
Videoconferencing has come a long way since the 70s. Usually it was between two offices and on a network that was solely for this purpose. These dedicated systems were very costly area these days as you’ll read on should you become extremely inexpensive saving both time and money for multiple offices across the world. List of gotomeeting, gotomeeting, In Person Office Meetings are the same as Online Meetings Today posts for more enlightenment.
The program by itself is digital. In other words as I am speaking the audio tracks stream is actually becoming compressed as I speak. Then that signals being sent to the remote area. Simply because the person speaking needs to match the individual moving. This digital stream as it’s known as is actually a bunch of packets. Problems?
Actually this really is usually the situation because in most cases the greatest problems communication and individuals. If somebody is on camera they think they may be recorded and they may be a small conscious of precisely how they act in what they say.
You lose the capability to give the eye contact use as well as body language cues when using a videoconferencing system. That is not really a large deal but it can be an concern. High-definition images take up a lot of space. Other than that everything is fairly
This can be as simple as a conversation in between two people in private offices (point-to-point) or involve a number of sites (multi-point) with a lot more than one person in large rooms at different sites. Besides the audio and visual transmission of meeting activities, videoconferencing can be utilized to share documents, computer-displayed information, and whiteboards. Such videoconferencing systems generally consisted of two closed-circuit television systems connected via cable.
These use a standards-based H.323 technique recognized as decentralized multipoint, where each station in a multipoint call exchanges video and audio directly with the other stations with no central “manager” or other bottleneck. This added convenience and quality comes at the expense of some increased network bandwidth, simply because every station must transmit to every other station directly.
In body language. This completely lost within the videoconference because that can’t really happen. You lose the capability to give the eye contact use as well as body language cues when using a videoconferencing program. That’s not truly a large deal but it could be an issue. High-definition pictures take up a lot of space. Other than that everything is fairly copacetic.
You may have considered in the past that the finance group stood alone. Many times they are expected to be saving money. The finance group is getting more time with the owner or CEO of the business. Make sure you are looking at what each different division and the company needs and not just your own.
In other words the profit is the difference between the cost of your product or service him what you have sold it for. Now when the economic system is not so great the sales price may stay the same or come down. Therefore what you can do to keep your margins is in some way figure out how to get costs down. While you may not be what it decreased the direct costs of that particular product you may be what bring down other operational costs. For example reducing company travel. It is not uncommon for the amount of money your company pays the rent to be huge. It is also known, to the amount of money you pay and travel to be even larger. You can also have a meeting between offices for employees or corporate meetings. But let’s talk about a potential client.
You would not have a per diem or have to pay for meals. It is possible that you can do the same thing in person that you can do online with the computer. Isn’t that mind blowing. Not these days. They could hear you and with a video camera they could also see you.
Office meetings. They are both inevitable and necessary. Sometimes unbearably drawn out. Other times refreshingly productive. Regardless of the topics that will be discussed or the decisions that need to be made, observing proper meeting protocol should always be an item on your personal agenda. Whether you are the meeting facilitator or an attendee, a foolproof method to ensure you are minding your meeting Ps and Qs is to follow the 8 Ps of office meeting protocol.
Meeting attendance is an excellent indicator of the way people view the importance of others’ time.
As the meeting facilitator, it is important to start and end the meeting on time. When you delay starting the meeting to wait for stragglers, you penalize the people who came on time and reward the people who did not. Doesn’t make much sense, does it? Similarly, you are not obliged to disrupt the momentum of the meeting to accommodate latecomers by giving a recap of topics that have already been discussed. Throughout the meeting, you will want to keep things on track by sticking to the agenda and ensuring the discourse moves at the proper pace. Consider asking another attendee to serve as a timekeeper. It will be that person’s responsibility to inform the rest of the group the amount of time remaining for discussion in any particular segment of the meeting.
If you are attending a meeting, you should make a concerted effort to be on time and to stay for the duration of the meeting. Aim to arrive at the meeting venue between 10 to 15 minutes prior to the start time. This will give you sufficient time to find a seat, help yourself to refreshments, and scan any meeting materials you did not receive beforehand. If you have a prior commitment and suspect that you may be late to the meeting or that you may need to leave early, communicate that to the meeting facilitator as soon as possible prior to the meeting date.
The key to a successful meeting lies in the preparation of the facilitator and the attendees.
As the meeting facilitator, your preparation sets the tone for the meeting long before the first agenda item is discussed. All the details discussed below should be attended to well in advance of your meeting. First, ensure the availability of a meeting space that will meet your requirements given the number of anticipated attendees, the length of your meeting, and any special equipment needs. You’ll also want to arrange for the proper room setup. For instance, if you plan to have attendees work in small groups, you may want to reconfigure the layout of the tables and chairs. If you intend to use handouts during the meeting, decide whether you want to distribute those in advance with the meeting announcement or wait until the day of the meeting. Even if you choose the latter option, it is always a good idea to send out a copy of the agenda with the meeting announcement. Confirm the arrangements for food and beverage service, including the arrival and setup time. On the day prior to your meeting, test to see that the audiovisual equipment and sound devices are working optimally. If you will use your laptop during the meeting to show a presentation, conduct a test run to avert any unwelcome surprises later.
If you are attending the meeting, come prepared to make a meaningful contribution to the discussion. Thoroughly review all materials provided in advance of the meeting, including the agenda and supplementary background materials. Prepare a list of questions you will ask, comments you will make, and ideas you will share. You’ll also want to complete any pre-work required for the meeting. Perhaps in your previous reading you came across an article or news story that speaks to one of the topics on the meeting agenda. Show initiative by forwarding the article to the meeting facilitator along with a brief note explaining how the article may be helpful. When you attend the meeting, always bring something to write with and a notepad. This sounds very elementary, but so many people neglect to do it. Even during the most routine of meetings, you never know when something important will be said that you’ll need to write down.
A good meeting involves interaction among the facilitator and the attendees.
If you are the meeting facilitator, foster an atmosphere of participation by asking for attendees’ opinions, ideas, and feedback. Build enough time into the meeting agenda to allow for discussion. Try to avoid cutting short productive discussion. If time does become a factor, agree to table the discussion and resolve to revisit the issue at a follow-up meeting. Additionally, as the facilitator, it is incumbent upon you to create a meeting climate where everyone feels comfortable expressing his or her opinion. Make it a point to engage any attendees who have not had an opportunity to speak.
If you are attending the meeting, exercise your active listening muscles. Take notes during the meeting. Use nonverbal communication to show you are actively invested in the discussion. Demonstrate by your posture and eye contact that you are interested in what is going on. When appropriate, ask questions and offer suggestions. Clarify any misunderstanding by paraphrasing what you have understood the speaker to have said and asking if your understanding is correct. Be willing to listen to others’ questions and comments. This serves a two-fold purpose. First, you’ll be less apt to ask a question that has already been answered. Second, you’ll be able to contribute something new as opposed to re-stating what has already been shared. When participating in the discussion, be succinct in your comments and keep them relevant to the topic on the table.
During a meeting, ideas are being shared, opinions are being shaped and challenged, and new approaches to solving problems are being proposed. In doing all of this, however, it is essential to keep the conversation positive. In voicing disagreement, be certain to refrain from making personal attacks or automatically dismissing others’ contributions because they may not be in line with your way of thinking. Remember that you can disagree agreeably. Rather than dwell on problems or challenges, offer creative solutions. Resist the urge to point fingers. Work together to reach a positive outcome, which leads to the next P.
Every meeting should have a goal, or an objective, to work toward. As the meeting facilitator, you set the goal(s) of the meeting. It is also your responsibility to communicate the goal(s) to the attendees. Your goal may be as simple as addressing each line item on the agenda. Or it may be as complex as developing a new policy for email usage. Whatever the goal of the meeting, the facilitator and attendees alike should approach the meeting with a mindset of being productive and ultimately accomplishing the goal(s).
If you are attending the meeting, turn off any electronic communication devices. Better yet, leave them at your desk. I hereby decree that anyone caught texting or tweeting during the meeting must run ten laps around the building. Backwards! Side conversations are another no-no. If you think you may need to leave early, sit at the back of the room and make your exit as unobtrusively as possible. If you are running late and the meeting has already started, wait outside the door until the speaker at the front has finished his or her presentation or until he or she motions it is okay for you to enter. As a polite attendee, you’ll want to give your undivided attention to the person who has the floor. Take turns speaking and try not to monopolize the discussion.
If you are the meeting facilitator, it is your responsibility to bring the meeting to a successful conclusion. Review the goals that were achieved. Set a tentative date and time for a follow-up meeting, if one is needed. Ask for volunteers or assign tasks that must be accomplished. Confirm deadlines for completion of those tasks or a specific date by which status reports should be given. Finally, you’ll want to answer any last-minute questions and tie up loose ends.
If you are attending the meeting, show that you are team player by volunteering to serve on a committee, complete a task, or buy the donuts for the next meeting. You can also offer to take the meeting minutes, act as the timekeeper, or make extra copies of materials that are needed.
I’ve saved the most important P of office meeting protocol for last. So much can be written here. I’ll end with a caution that your reputation for professionalism can be solidified or called into question based on the way you conduct yourself during a meeting. Maintain the respect of your peers and supervisors by being no less than the consummate professional you are.
See you at the next meeting!
How many times have you conducted a business meeting and found yourself not in control? The unnecessary sidetracking discussions and sheer lack of interest on the part of the participants can really frustrate anyone. Would you like to have managed the meeting with greater confidence and have better control?
Many a time you attend meetings and there are people there who just are not interested in what is going on. These people just distract the whole meeting. Unfortunately, sometimes people who are invited have very little reason to be at the meeting. It also does not help if the person facilitating the business meeting is not well prepared and the meeting is run in a very informal and unstructured manner. Sometimes, it is not even clear what are the objectives of the meeting. Then, what is worst is when time is up and no conclusion or decisions have been made. A pure waste of time for everyone.
Here are 8 tips that you can use to conduct an effective meeting:
1. Have A Meeting Purpose
First tip is to call for a meeting only if you have a clear reason for doing so. It does not matter that you need to resolve a problem, share some information or just get the team together to share their experiences and learn from each other. Just state the purpose. Once you are clear on your purpose, then you need to let the others know as well.
Besides the purpose, of course, inform them of the date, time and venue. State how long the meeting will be and keep to the time. Clearly articulate the objectives of the meeting. This will help them come better prepared. Depending on the purpose, the venue might also be different. If it is just a get together with drinks and food, then the cafeteria might be fine. If you need a projector, whiteboard and such facilities, then choose the meeting room accordingly and have the right facilities available.
2. Supporting Materials
Make sure that you are prepared with the supporting materials. If you need to present information, then have these prepared. It could be PowerPoint slides or printed documents. If you are using the projector, have it already set up before the session and tested. Copies of printed documents should already have been made before the meeting. Better if you have emailed the softcopies to them, so that they could have read it before the meeting.
If you are presenting the information, then make sure that you have prepared the points and not just ramble on during the meeting. Use the whiteboard or flipchart to note the main points so that you can get the audience to focus.
You may need some other people to present or provide information. Then inform them of what is required and the time allocated for them. Also clearly state the type of information you need and the questions that need answering. Getting others to participate also takes the pressure of you at least for part of the meeting. It also enables participation by the others, which normally creates a more lively environment as opposed to you talking on and on. Even you will agree that it gets pretty boring when you have to listen to the same person for some time.
3. Attendees Present Have A Purpose
There are times when parties remotely involved to the purpose of the meeting are invited “just in case” or just to keep them informed of the proceedings. Or it could be you need some information from a person but it is so little that for the person to attend the whole meeting is such a waste of time. It is ever so important that each person who attends has a specific purpose and role. If not, they can be disruptive to you conducting an effective meeting.
Meetings are often convened not only to discuss matters but also to gain agreement from a number of parties and keep everyone informed. Quite often, all of these parties are called for the same meeting as a convenience. Why? Because if you were at the meeting, then you are deemed to have agreed with the outcome. Does not matter that you were bored and sending sms messages during the meeting and did not hear most of what was going on.
It may be convenient for the person calling for the meeting but definitely a waste of time for the attendee. In such cases, it may be prudent to have the investigative meeting first. Collate and organize the information and then have a separate meeting to inform all interested parties. Agree that this will take a longer time, but the participants will appreciate your consideration of their time spent. Chances are that when you call for a meeting that they will turn up knowing that you do not waste people’s time just for your own convenience.
There are a couple of other ideas that work as well. Get the person to join in the first part of the meeting, present their information and leave after taking questions. Or alternatively, have the person available to be called in only if required. This way, the other party is available during the meeting time but can be doing other work. Have seen this work well. What is more worthwhile is the fact that these people start appreciating the meetings that you conduct.
4. Document Outcomes/Agreements/Actions
The value of meetings is in getting agreements, generating outcomes or in agreeing on actions and who will carry out the actions. Cannot stress enough on the importance of having this written down during the meeting. Preferably on a flipchart paper or whiteboard. For actions, note the completion dates and who is responsible. At the end of the meeting, summarize these items. This means your meeting discussion needs to close about ten minutes earlier to go through these and allow for any clarifications.
5. Agree On The Next Steps
Once outcomes and actions are agreed upon, next important thing is to agree on the next steps. Plan and agree on when you will next meet if this applies. If not, agree on how you can ensure that action items are closed off. So often, very well run meetings become ineffective because they fail in their follow up actions. So, do focus on this part of the meeting.
6. Follow Up Documentation
Some people may send out meeting minutes. Some do not. At a minimum, you should document points agreed upon and action items and have these sent to all attendees. In case, points were misunderstood, the attendees have an opportunity to clarify. You will also find that people forget what was agreed upon, in which case, they have a document to refer to. This way, there should be no arguments in future about agreements made and action items.
7. Thank The Participants
On concluding, thank the participants for their attendance and contribution to the meeting. The attendees have taken time off to attend your meeting and some of them would have spent time preparing for it. Taking a few minutes to show your appreciation will help in getting their support and cooperation for future meetings and especially for the immediate actions that may be required. Just remember that if your meeting is successful, these are the people who made it possible.
8. Reflect On How You Managed The Meeting
After the meeting, take a short while to note what went well and what can be improved on. If your mentor also attended the meeting, you may want to ask for feedback on whether you ran the meeting confidently. Use the feedback to improve on the next meeting. If your review shows that you may need training, you can check out with your training department on appropriate training that you can attend. Or just buy or borrow a book on the topic. Of course, you can also find a lot of materials for free on the internet.
Everyone can conduct meetings confidently if they plan and prepare for it. Make sure that the attendees are informed of the purpose and agenda for the meeting and other logistics details. Inform them early if they need to come prepared. Have the relevant facilities ready for the meeting. Document the outcomes and actions resulting from the meeting. Agree on the next steps so that you can follow through.
When you have conducted a business meeting confidently and people are appreciative of it, there is great feeling of satisfaction. Just follow the tips provided and watch the significant difference in how confidently you run your next meeting.
Boring! That’s the complaint that tops the list when people talk about meetings. American businesses hold 11 million meetings a year and attendees agree that more than 50% of that time is wasted. Most regular meeting attendees admit to daydreaming (91%), missing meetings (96%), arriving late or leaving early (95%), bringing other work with them (73%) or dozing off (39%). Focusing and maintaining your audience’s attention is the challenge of meeting planners the world over. It takes a little extra time and effort to plan a meeting that will hold your audience’s attention from start to finish.
To head off complaints and ensure maximum productivity, consider these important issues in planning a meeting:
Timing is everything. Don’t plan a meeting for Monday morning when people are trying to get their head in the game, schedule their week and answer their emails. Avoid right after lunch when people sink into nap mode. And forget about holding a meeting on Friday afternoon when everyone wants to get out the door for the weekend.
Invite the right people. Invite the people who will most benefit, those who can make real contributions and those with the power to make decisions. Send a meeting summary to other interested parties. Research indicates that 5 to 9 participants is the optimal number for productive discussion and decision-making. Break larger groups into small work groups after the initial introduction.
Set a specific goal. Meetings are more apt to stay on track when participants know exactly why the meeting has been scheduled and the specific goal to be accomplished. Decide why you’re getting together. Is it to share information, brainstorm or make a decision? Send participants an agenda prior to the meeting so they arrive prepared.
Stay on track. People lose interest when a meeting veers off-track. Stick to your agenda and meeting timeline. Changing presentation media or tactics periodically will help meeting participants refocus on the agenda. Keep a running list of off-task ideas or questions in a “parking lot” so you can continue with the agenda without losing useful ideas that can be addressed later.
When people communicate, they gain 10% of the meaning from words, 20% from delivery style and 70% from non-verbal cues and body language. The presenter and presentation are more important than the actual words in getting your message across. And in our harried, multi-tasking world, attention span isn’t what it used to be. These factors are particularly significant given the growing number of businesses who are using teleconferencing and videoconferencing to mitigate increasing travel costs and narrowing employee time constraints. Meeting planners can take a tip from television which uses the formula: tighten, dazzle and flow to rivet audience attention.
? Tighten. Tighten the focus of the meeting by setting just one or two goals. Tighten your delivery with preparation and practice. Tighten control of the meeting environment by optimizing room temperature, ventilation and lighting. In a recent poll, poor speaking skills (monotone voice, repetition, over-gesturing and buzzword overuse), lack of direction and physical discomfort were most cited as causes for loss of concentration during meetings.
? Dazzle. Be enthusiastic and share your passion or belief in the task or goal. Enthusiasm is contagious and engages the attention of participants. Use the tactics listed below to keep the meeting fresh and interesting. Wake people up by doing the unexpected: Meet in a restaurant instead of the conference room, play a game, switch visual media, solicit audience participation, etc.
? Flow. Maintain continuity by sticking to your agenda and time frame.
To keep meeting participants energized and engaged, try these 10 tips for holding your audience’s attention during a meeting:
1. Use humor. Tell a joke, funny story or personal experience related to the meeting topic. Or open your presentation with an amusing slide, famous quote or cartoon. Dilbert is great for poking fun at meetings and corporate life.
2. Offer refreshments. Cool, refreshing beverages – ice water, juice, soda, iced tea – and easy-to-eat salty or savory snacks can help participants stay alert.
3. Busy hands. Place small jigsaw puzzles, mini Lego kits or tiny cans of Playdough in front of each participant. Some people think and concentrate better when they have something to do with their hands. Invite those who care to “to play” while they work.
4. Pose a question. Ask a question early in the meeting, but tell participants you don’t want an answer until the end. To encourage active listening, offer a small prize (quarters for the vending machine or a Starbucks coupon) for the first correct answer.
5. Engage participants. Encourage and solicit the views and discussion of all participants. Use eye contact to draw people in. Toss a Nerf ball around the room. The person who catches the ball must offer a comment or suggestion before tossing it to another participant. Have participants show agreement or disagreement by holding thumbs-up or thumbs-down.
6. Get personal. Credit meeting participant’s when facts, statistics and ideas are presented. Encourage participants to share ownership of the meeting by offering details of their involvement or accomplishments.
7. Show and tell. Use visuals to get your point across. Wake things up with a hands-on demonstration or PowerPoint graphics. Use a variety of visual tactics to keep things fresh.
8. Unlock the mystery. Abstract concepts and statistics can cause people’s eyes to glaze over. Provide an understandable comparison or explain the real world implication. When possible, relate the numbers to the participants’ personal lives.
9. Shake things up. Pop a Q&A or brainstorming session into the middle of a discussion. Do some role-playing to revitalize attention. Solicit alternative perspectives and stimulate creative thinking by passing out sheets of paper on which each participant writes a problem or concern. Papers are passed to the right where the recipient has 60 seconds to write down his first thought about the problem. Continue to pass the papers every 60 seconds until each person gets his own sheet back. Invite the group to share and discuss responses.
10. Snappy ending. Keep the end of the meeting from getting bogged down in repetitive comments and summary. Give each participant a blown-up balloon. If he feels someone is winding on too long, he can pop his balloon to “stop the hot air.”
Direct Selling Business Sales Team Meeting
Direct selling marketing team training meetings are important; they must happen in order for the business to run smoothly and so everyone knows what to expect and how to work together. It is always important to get your team to meetings so that they connect and make friends and learn business success tips. There are many ways to motivate your team members to both come and work harder in the future. Below are some very useful motivational tips that will get you started down the right path to a successful team meeting.
Direct Selling Marketing Business Meeting Training Themes
Come up with a fun team training meeting theme. The theme should be relevant to the direct selling training, but fun enough to elicit plenty of questions. If your team members have questions, they’ll come to the meetings to receive the answers. Plan ahead so you can tell them the theme of the next meeting at the end of each one. Theme meetings will make the meetings more fun. Examples of themes may be for holidays or seasonal changes. “Planting seeds for the future” is a theme that would go well in the spring. “Make no bones about it” could be a theme in the fall where you discuss why people make excuses. Be creative and make every meeting different.
Teach your direct selling business team members how to find business. There are many places where business can be secured and the sky is literally the limit when it comes to this aspect of business. Talk about this in your team meetings and go around the room asking for ideas. Having each team member share a different and creative booking tip makes the learning environment better due to the participation. Write down everything that is said and go through the list. Split them up among your team members so that everyone has an equal number. At the next team meeting, compare notes, finding out how many of them worked. It will be fun and interesting to find out how innovative your members became. Analyze those that were not successful to find out whether a different approach is needed or you need to discard them altogether.
Come up with incentives for getting people to the training meetings. Find fun ideas that interest them and incorporate them into your meetings. This could include fun games where team members will be required to take part in thought-provoking activities that will help everyone work together as a team. This is a very important part of team success and is widely used in many organizations both large and small.
Keep a positive attitude. This will be contagious and encouraging to all team members and will go a long way toward getting them to the meetings.
Direct Selling Marketing Business Consultant Recognition
Recognition is always important. Working in a direct selling business is exciting but can be lonely since you are working at home by yourself. Team recognition is important and should create comradarie. It is not just praising your team members. Make sure they all know what a great job they do but also go a step further and acknowledge the person not just the deed. Saying “great job” is not as good as “I am really impressed with the commitment you made to your business.” Real recognition supports and recognized the person not the task. Doing this will make them want to come back to meetings, sell more and will help them to achieve higher goals.
When organising meetings and events, there are plenty of event planning tips around – the trouble is that most of them are aimed at weddings and domestic parties. There are few sources of information for company PAs needing to arrange corporate events, whether it is the annual conference or the Christmas revelries. One of the best event planning tips we can offer is to arrange your event with someone who offers a dedicated service, like us at Holiday Inn Meetings BE. Our dedicated Meetings Host service effectively provides a private PA for the duration, who knows both the area and the hotel like the back of their hand. However, a lot of the arranging will still come down to you, so here are a few event planning tips: 1. Find a good venue with rooms to accommodate both small and larger functions. That way, you can rebook all your events at the same place. Most company delegates and employees like the familiarity of the same premises each time, rather than constantly shunting from one unknown location to the next. Our meeting venues at Holiday Inns cover every size, from large banqueting suites to small tutorial rooms, with clearly laid out dimensions on the booking forms. 2. Make a list of everything you’ll need well ahead of schedule, and add to it as you go. Cross off things as they’re done, and make sure you know exactly what the venue supplies, and what you’ll have to provide yourself. Many hotel venues just supply the room – at Holiday Inn Meetings BE we supply anything you require, from broadband to projectors. 3. Do as much planning as you can online. We at Holiday Inn Meetings BE have a page of useful links on our website, under “Event planning tips.” These include driving directions, local attractions, public transport, weather, car hire and local business services – all the things that are impossible to organise if your company is located some distance away. Some of the sites offer specialised software, with templates that include event planning tips for groups of different sizes. 4. Make sure your catering arrangements are discussed well ahead of schedule. If you’re not sure if any of your delegates will have special dietary needs, it’s best to play safe and select special dietary options, if they’re available. Remember, a lot of meat-eaters will switch to vegetarian on the spur of the moment, if it looks appetising enough. Here’s a big tip – a lot of Benelux hotels believe in hearty portions and rib-sticking tourist-trade fare. To keep your delegates and guests alert and happy, choose a hotel that offers freshly cooked, appetising cuisine that won’t sit heavy on the stomach. We at Holiday Inn Meetings BE have special menus aimed specifically at meetings, which are light, simple and delicious. 5. Remember your delegates might be travelling from a distance – so keep an eye on local travel news, road conditions and such extras. This includes things like festivals and transport strikes. 6. One of the biggest event planning tips of all is – don’t panic. Remember, if you choose us at Holiday Inn Meetings BE, you have the services of a dedicated Meetings Host, who can smooth out any problems that occur.
As businesses grow, they no longer remain within the confines of the same country. Due to the increase of global presence and need to communicate with others quickly and timely, virtual meetings is the clear solution. However, within virtual meetings, the differing time zones of individuals may pose a problem. The following tips are very useful for dealing with the most common time zone issues.
Tip 1: Knowing each individual’s time zone
The most important aspect in dealing with meetings that cross time zones is to know each individual member’s time zone. With that knowledge you will be able to understand each person’s point of view. If possible, this should be done during overlapping business hours. Overall this will enable the meeting to be scheduled at the most convenient time for all members of the team.
Tip 2: Schedule meetings well in advance
To help ease problems and conflicts with meetings across time zones, it is strongly advised to schedule all meetings well in advance. This will allow for all members to adequately prepare for the meeting, or schedule their day if they must attend it outside of business hours.
Tip 3: When mentioning dates, mention the time zone used
This is quite self-explanatory, and is a common source of confusion within meetings that span across time zones. Whenever times are mentioned, for scheduling deadlines or meeting times, make sure the time zone that is being used is specified. Otherwise, misunderstandings could occur as a result of poor communication.
Tip 4: Show consideration for those who have been inconvenienced by the meeting
Remember to show appreciation and understanding for those who have been inconvenienced, possible by having to attend the meeting at an odd time. Moreover, try to rotate the schedule so that no one is overly inconvenienced by meeting timings.
Tip 5: If possible, arrange meetings by time zone
If possible, to help reduce the need for members to meet outside of business hours, arrange meetings according to time zone. Group team members within the same time zone or geographical location could have meetings together. For example, those members in Canada have a meeting while the members in China have their own. Having geographically organized meetings compared to varied time zone ones will help save team members many time-zone-related hassles.
Tip 6: Use technology to keep everything organized
In order to do all the above points with efficiency and ease, there are several websites that have been designed. For example, to have access to all the world’s time zones, http://www.anuko.com/content/world_clock/index.htm is very useful. Moreover, once the necessary time zones are known, the final step is effective organization of the information in order to find an appropriate window for the meeting to take place. The website http://doodle.ch is great for this since it allows everyone to post their times of availability and then clearly displays the overlap. With these websites at your disposal, an effective online meeting is just a few short steps away.
Ultimately, remain considerate of meeting times with respect to time zones, be equitable to all members, and overall the meeting will be a successful one.
Does it sometimes seem to you that half the business world is always “in a meeting”? And since at least 20% of the time we spend at meetings is wasted time, do you ever wonder who is actually running businesses these days?
Meetings are paradoxical. Simultaneously the biggest source of frustration in the working world, and also the best opportunity to get things done. The most common and at the same time the least understood business activity.
So what’s the point of internal company meetings? There are several, but all stem from the benefits to be gained by getting people together. Some meetings are designed to ensure that everybody present shares the same information. Some are intended to get everyone to participate in making a decision. Some aim at both these objectives, plus coordination of the activities decided at the meeting.
Whatever the reason for having the meeting, there are 5 golden rules for making sure that the meeting achieves its aims.
1.Make sure that everybody invited to the meeting knows when and where it will be held, what is to be discussed, that they have all relevant information before the meeting, and that they know when it will end.
If the purpose of the meeting is simply to communicate information, now’s the time to consider not having a meeting at all. We read much faster than we speak, so if the information can be released before the meeting, why meet at all?
And it’s at this stage that the number of people at the meeting needs to be settled. My experience is that more than seven people cannot “decide” anything; they can only be informed of events, and perhaps exercise a veto.
2.Start on time. No delays, no waiting. Most meetings do not start promptly, which throws the schedule off course before a word is spoken. Over the course of a few meetings people develop the attitude that they do not need to be on time, “because someone’s always late”. And please note that “on time” means sitting in your place, papers set out in front of you, mobile phone switched off, before the scheduled start time.
I used to work for a German company, and that’s how meetings would go. Everyone in place, chatting, until the chairman/boss/facilitator tapped his water glass and started the meeting. Maybe by coincidence, those were the most productive meetings I can recall.
3.Cover each item on the agenda in the depth it requires. Often it’s helpful to make an estimate of how much time each item will take, and set the times out on the agenda. Otherwise make sure that the highest priority matters are covered early on in the meeting. That way, if the meeting runs short of time the important matters won’t be skimped in the rush at the end of the session.
4.Make notes. Some meetings need formal records of who said what. This is a skilled and demanding task, and whoever does it will most likely not be able to be a full participant in the meeting. Other meetings require no more than a list of the actions agreed. Any participant can make this level of record, and in this case it’s a good idea to rotate the job of record keeping around the group, so that everyone gets a chance to try it.
5.Do the actions! Don’t wait until the day before the next meeting! Put the actions you were allocated onto your “to do” list, do them as soon as possible, and report completion to the rest of the group.
Good meetings are powerful tools. A group of people share common information, and work towards a common goal. Bad meetings are corrosive. They destroy cohesion, damage working relationships, and set up tensions within the group. But it’s wrong to heap all the blame onto the person chairing the meeting if it does not go well. All the participants have a roll to play as well. They need to be prepared for the discussion topics, they must observe proper courtesy, only speak when appropriate, and when they speak they must be brief and to-the-point.
Generally the language used in meetings is more “formal” than what we use in everyday conversation. I have been in meetings where every participant was addressed not by name but by job title. And in other meetings the participants could only speak “through the chair”, never directly to each other. Meetings where the business language is not your mother tongue can be difficult for you, although I have been the “outsider”, and marvelled at the ease with which my Dutch or German colleagues did business in my mother tongue, not theirs! Occasionally I would have to leave one of these meetings, and discover on my return that my colleagues had not bothered to switch back to Dutch or German.
If preparation for a meeting to be held in a language other than your mother tongue is a problem for you, and you are lucky enough to live in Jakarta, the Aim team (English training Jakarta) is there to help you.
On the way to work one morning, a man said to his friend, “I’m really looking forward to going to work today.”
“Why?” asked his friend.
“Because I don’t have a single meeting today, so I can really get some work done.”
If you and your team members can relate to this feeling, it’s probably a good time to take a hard look at why, how and how often you have meetings.
Here are some tips to make your meetings more productive.
1. Understand the goal of the meeting. There are several good reasons to have a meeting. Possibilities may include sharing important information, coordinating activities among a group or tapping into skill sets to solve a problem. If you can’t clearly state a goal for your meeting, you don’t need to have it.
For example, “We just like to get everyone together from time to time” is not a clear goal. “We want to share the results of the first quarter and communicate our goals for second quarter” is a clear goal.
2. Decide who really needs to attend. Again, there are several good reasons to invite participants. Such reasons may be the attendees have or need the information that will be shared, will be involved in the activities being planned or have the special skills or expertise needed.
Groups of more than 10 people are difficult to manage, particularly if discussion is needed. If you do have to include more than 10 people, manage your agenda carefully and keep the group on task.
Make sure one or two people in the room don’t dominate the discussion. If you’ve asked someone to be at the meeting, make sure that person has opportunities to share.
Break the topics into reasonable bites and allocate a certain amount of time to discuss each one. Be realistic. Take into consideration the size of the group, the complexity of the topic and the likelihood of a variety of opinions on the topic. The idea is not to keep people from having time to share. The object is to stay focused on the purpose of the meeting and to give more time to the more important elements of the discussion.
Learn more tips on creating efficient meetings.