In the business world, meetings between colleagues are quite common. You can meet for any reason – from a simple catch-up to creating your quarterly financial plan, for example. In fact, business meetings are so common that the average employee in the United States attends about 8 meetings a week. This amounts to a staggering 55 million meetings held every week across the country!
With so many meetings, it’s inevitable that they aren’t entirely efficient or, let’s face it, useful. We’ve all come out of at least one meeting and thought “Well… it could be an email”.
So, to make sure you’re running the most effective meetings you can, we’ve put together a short list of the most common types of business meetings you’re likely to encounter, as well as a few tips to make them truly worthwhile. .
Let’s dive into it!
5 Most Common Types of Business Meetings
Arguably, no two meetings are the same. Meetings vary depending on the participants, the goals you set, when they take place, and more. However, there are 5 overarching “ideas” for business meetings that happen all too often.
Type 1: Brainstorming sessions
Perhaps the most exciting meeting, brainstorming sessions are about getting creative with the team. Whether you’re looking for a way to solve a problem or coming up with new ideas for a strategy, product, or campaign, brainstorming sessions help you think outside the box by bouncing ideas off each other.
And sure, these meetings can be online through video conferencing tools like Zoom. However, a recent study in Nature suggests that virtual meetings can actually limit creative ideas by blocking our ability to read each other’s natural queues and draw inspiration from our surroundings. So having an in-person brainstorming session can help you generate more ideas and come up with more innovative solutions to problems!
Want to learn more about how real-life meetings can help increase productivity and creativity? Check out this video of our COO Huw Slater and CPO Sally Sorbron on SaaStr 2022!
Type 2: Status Meeting
We all know that business communication can be difficult at times. From an original email ending up in spam to missing a Slack message, or what have you, it’s pretty easy to get behind what your colleagues are doing.
That’s why regularly scheduled status update meetings are so important! They give team members a chance to share what they’re working on, align objectives, and even come up with a few action items!
For these meetings to be most effective, always make sure you have a meeting agenda that allows time for each team member to share. That way, you make sure everyone has a chance to speak and your quiet colleagues aren’t ignored.
Sticking to your agenda items also ensures that you cover everything you planned in your allotted time frame. This allows you to cancel the meeting if there are no key talking points around that time.
Type 3: One-to-one meetings
As the name suggests, these are meetings where you get together with just one person. They are an opportunity for two people to meet for a specific purpose. For example, you might have a weekly one-on-one meeting with your manager where you review what you’ve been working on in the past week; Or have a peer review session.
You might even meet a colleague you’ve been working with on a project or just meet someone who can help you get stuck in!
These meetings have countless advantages. They’re really great for progressing through a piece of work together with another person, they can be a great way to get to know a colleague on a more personal level, and can really help you move forward where you might have been a little lost before. .
However, it can also be very easy to go off-topic in these meetings, especially where the person you’re chatting with is a friend!
Type 4: Problem Solving Meetings
Problem-solving meetings often require a lot of teamwork to come up with a solution to a particular challenge. These are intensely objective-driven meetings where a clear outcome is required.
Depending on the nature of your business and the department you are in, the problems and solutions you discuss in such meetings will certainly vary. However, these types of meetings will always have one thing in common – the need to come up with a solution.
Different problems may require multiple problem-solving meetings. That’s why it’s so important for you to follow through on the solutions you and your team come up with Check in to see how they’re doing and, if necessary, hold another meeting to assess whether further action is needed.
Type 5: Decision making meetings
Usually focused on business leaders, when we refer to decision-making meetings we mean the meetings where key company decisions are made. Top-level decisions are often discussed – a board meeting is a great example of a professional gathering where big decisions are made.
However, you can also hold decision-making meetings at any level – setting a strategy for the year with your team definitely falls into this category.
It is really important for these meetings to be clearly structured and have a clear objective from the beginning to the end of the meeting. Preparing an agenda ahead of time is really useful to ensure you cover all the necessary points in the time you have.
Our top tips for running truly successful business meetings
1. Have a clear objective
The surest way to avoid meeting setup problems that email can cause is to organize. It is important that all carers know the purpose of the meeting in advance – this gives everyone time to reflect on what will be discussed and to prepare if necessary.
Conducting purpose-driven meetings is the best way to add value to these professional interactions.
2. Invite the right people
avoid”Sure, Ben knows about this stuff, add him to the call.” Attitude Think about whether “Ben” really needs to be in the meeting – is he going to be a facilitator of the conversation or just a silent participant? Is “Ben” going to get anything out of it? Will he contribute anything of value?
More isn’t always better, so consider your attendee list carefully before sending a meeting request to half of your department.
3. Take notes during the meeting (so you don’t forget anything)
Not everyone of us can hope to be a note taker, but jotting down key discussion points is the best way to remember details. It’s always best to take your own notes, however, some teams and meetings may benefit from designating a participant to write the “meeting minutes.”
This is especially useful in meetings where a lot of ideas are thrown around, such as a creative strategy session or an idea workshop for a new product.
4. Don’t interrupt when someone is talking
This may be a little obvious but it still needs to be said! Allow people to finish their thoughts during a meeting before making your offer. Manners are important, no matter what kind of meeting you’re in.
Whether it’s a team-building event or a decision-making meeting, just make sure you’re always respectful of others and their time.
5. Take time into account and don’t waste it
You should always be on time from the moment your meeting starts. It can be very easy to go off on a tangent and waste valuable meeting time talking about things that aren’t really important
Another pitfall can be getting stuck on a particular topic and neglecting to cover everything on your mind before running out of time. Always keep your eye on the clock!
6. Recap and set actionable goals at the end
Make sure that when your meeting is over, everyone is clear about what they need to do. Taking 5 minutes at the end of the call to summarize and confirm action items is really important because it guarantees that everyone is on the same page at the end.
Confusion can easily arise, especially where multiple action points are discussed. This short recap is a good way to iron out any wrinkles and give people time to ask questions.