As we all know, meetings are a mandatory part of many employees’ jobs. And it’s almost guaranteed you will be asked to attend a work meeting at some point in your life. As a result, it’s crucial to know how to plan for upcoming meetings. However, the bad news is there is more to work meetings that you may imagine.
There are a wide variety of different work meeting types. Hence why you need to figure out what the upcoming meeting’s type is ahead of time. Some of the most common meeting types include:
- Status update meeting: Commonly known as project meetings, these meetings involve problem-solving, decision making, prioritization, and task assignment.
- Innovation meeting: Involves brainstorming, associating, and sharing ideas.
- Information sharing meeting: Involves speaker(s) sharing information with the attendees. Attendees are typically passive listeners in such meetings.
As you can see, there are major differences between each type of the mentioned meetings. Thus, get to know the meeting type ahead of time and prepare accordingly. But do note that types of meetings are not limited to the above.
Every meeting has a main purpose and a set of objectives. So don’t be the guy that asks people what the meeting is about when they enter. Else you will be viewed as unprepared and irresponsible. Thus before walking into the meeting, take some time and read the meeting email or invitation you’ve received to find out what will be discussed. Identify the main purpose and objectives to stay on top of things.
Next step is to research the meeting material. Some meetings require the attendees to participate in the discussions or brainstorm ideas. Depending on the nature of the meeting, your participation may be either voluntary or mandatory depending. For instance, for project meetings, you may be asked about your progress on a certain aspect of the project. On the other hand, for brainstorming sessions, you are free to participate or not. Once you learn about the meeting material, you can prepare notes, write down your questions and practice answering any potential questions you may be asked.
Meeting invitations often contain a list of the meeting attendees. Take a look at that list and find out which colleagues will be attending as that will help you learn more about the meeting. For instance, you’ll get a chance to find out which upper-level employees and managers will be attending. Depending on who is attending you can then determine the importance of meeting and how much you should prepare ahead of time. Thus, if there are a lot of higher-ups from your firm you’ll get a chance to impress them with your level of preparation.
The last step before heading to the meeting is preparing your material based on what you know from your research. So write down your notes, questions, and concerns down and bring them with you. For instance, the presenter may put you in the spotlight in a status update meeting. The stress caused by this can get to you thus making you leave out details you wanted to discuss. Having your thoughts and notes down prevents you from forgetting important details and makes you come off as organized and on top of their work.
Work meetings can be stressful, boring or just plain unhelpful. Nevertheless, there are a lot of variables at play in every single work meeting. And as an employee, it’s part of your job to prepare, participate and try to make your meetings more productive. Thus by following our guide, you will ensure work meetings are a success and eliminate the not so fun aspects of such meetings.