The 5 Commandments of Effective Business Meetings

The 5 Commandments of Effective Business Meetings

Meetings can be a productive and efficient way to communicate and make decisions or they can be a frustrating waste of time—it is up to you. Follow these five commandments for effective meetings.

1. Hold Meetings Only When Necessary

Why are you holding a meeting? Identify a clear purpose before you start. Are you building team unity, discussing solutions to a problem, or teaching your team something new?

Could the meeting replaced by an email or a phone call? If so, it probably isn’t necessary. Set a clear purpose for each meeting to be sure you don’t waste anyone’s precious time—including your own.

2. Invite Contribution

If you are holding a meeting to make announcements, it probably isn’t the best use of anyone’s time. Meetings should be used for two-sided communication.

Invite employees and peers to contribute to your meeting whether they are giving a presentation, voicing concerns, or offering solutions. They will feel valued, and you will learn new things when they share their ideas and concerns.

Remember that people will only contribute if the content of the meeting is relevant to them. Do not invite your entire team into a meeting if it’s only going to be relevant to a few key employees. With board meetings, constantly consider who is on your board – a board review could be necessary for removing people who do not contribute anything meaningful. 

As long as you define your purpose and keep the meeting focused, contribution from others will make your meetings more effective.

3. Be Prepared

Lack of preparation can be an enormous time waster.

If you need to collect information and make decisions in you meeting, let everyone know what you need before the meeting starts. Your meetings will be more efficient if people leave them with answers rather than questions.

If you are giving an audio/visual presentation in your meeting, make sure everything is set up before you start instead of making everyone wait while you fiddle with cables.

Come to every meeting prepared, and demand the same from your employees.

4. Choose the Right Environment

The environment you need for your meeting depends on its purpose.

If you are holding a long meeting to discuss complicated matters, a place like Cartier Place Suite Hotel might have a room that suits your needs—they have big windows, nice views, and catering options.

If your meeting will be short, try a standing meeting. It gives everyone a chance to stretch and encourages people to focus.

If your meeting is geared toward building a relationship consider meeting for drinks, coffee, or a round of golf.

5. Use Time Wisely

Time is a precious resource and people get frustrated and defensive if their time is wasted, so make sure you use your meeting time wisely.

Schedule meetings at the right time of day. Instead of interrupting your employees in the morning when they are most productive and starting on new projects, hold meetings in the afternoons when they are ready for a break and a change of pace.

Always start and end your meetings on time and keep your meetings as short as possible. People will be less likely to lose focus or get bored and the company overall will get more done.

Follow the above commandments for effective meetings that leave everyone you work with feeling well informed, appreciated, and productive.

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, Founder of Inspired Marketing, Inc., helps overachieving women entrepreneurs conquer limiting beliefs and create marketing plans that grow their businesses. This includes one-on-one marketing plan development, digital product creation, web design and content marketing. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog,

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  1. Hi,
    Glad to see your post….I am very happy to see your informative post which helps me a lot.

    Seriously though, I have gone to some meetings where I believed I was alternately at the theater, in a shark-infested swimming pool or at the circus, all in the space of 45 minutes. Chances are these meetings would have been called for the same purpose as the ones mentioned in the advertisement above.

    A lot of meetings are called and run on the basis that everybody knows what the goal of the meeting is. Don’t assume that this is the case or that everybody at the meeting all share a common purpose or that everyone thinks the meeting is necessary.

    Thanks for being sharing….Keep it up ?

    Cheryl turpin

  2. #3 is so true. It’s frustrating as someone who is attending the meeting to have a lot of wasted time, when you could be doing other things.

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