Let’s face it, not everyone loves attending meetings. Or scheduling them for that matter! They take precious time out of everyone’s schedule, they may not seem effective to everyone involved, and if the right people aren’t attending the meeting, there is always inevitable follow-up that takes even more time away. Are you one of these individuals? Do you dread planning that must-do meeting because of the stress it may cause?
But there are undeniable benefits that result for you and your customers when meetings are planned productively. Face-to-face contact can help to develop healthy working relationships that you may not get through emails or phone calls. Everything becomes more personal and real human interaction and face-to-face discussion brings the results you may have been missing previously. Here are four other reasons why meetings are a powerful business weapon:
New Ideas Occur That May Have Been Missed
There is no denying that communication done through phone calls, emails, newsletters, etc. has made life a lot easier and communication can happen quickly. It has created new opportunities and made many partnerships much more effective. But if not handled correctly, their effectiveness can be drastically diminished.
But decisions may take longer if you’re waiting for an email chain to catch up to everyone involved. Problems generally don’t get the same amount of attention because they are easier to skim over. Ever here the phrase “phoning it in”? This is exactly what can happen when people aren’t giving the issue their 100% attention. Many people may miss certain details that are trying to be ironed out because they don’t get through an entire message and get distracted with the next thing on their plate instead. Unanimous decisions become difficult to agree on when not everyone is on the same page.
This is where meetings become powerful. Discussion and face-to-face interaction means that the brainstorming that you may need to solve a problem or come up with a new idea can be accomplished. If you’re waiting on decisions from multiple people, it’s so much easier and productive to get those people in the room so details and specifics can be ironed out. And ideas that otherwise would have been missed or wouldn’t have been paid attention to now have the ability to gain traction and be discussed.
That’s just a win-win for everyone!
Things That Otherwise May Have Been Misrepresented Are Fully Understood
We’ve all seen how things can be taken out of context over an email. You don’t get the sense of what someone’s tone or body language is conveying when you’re reading a quick message. People get offended so much easier!
It’s been said that only 7% of communication is spoken. The other 93% is made up of tone and body language. And if you’re missing out on those cues through phone calls and emails, there is a good chance that somewhere along the line things are going to get skewed. People are able to better read each other face-to-face and something that might have offended someone over the phone or on email may not even cause a stir in a face-to-face meeting. We tend to move as fast as possible when we’re responding over email. We may not intend to cut things short and appear disinterested, but when we have 98 other emails that need attention, it’s happens. These kinds of problems become irrelevant and make meetings so important for actual discussions on an issue or handling negotiations.
Structure and Action Is More Easily Obtainable
Without structure when trying to communication with customers or clients, action tends to take a backseat. Meetings are powerful in their ability to provide structure and a strong course of action that will result in what needs to be accomplished. Notes are generally taken that can be reflected back on and people are more likely to give their views and opinions when the structure is in place to do so. And because communication will be front and center at any meeting, things are going to be accomplished.
It’s always essential to have a plan of action that is going to outline what the meeting is going to include, as well as what is going to be accomplished over the course of the meeting. Meetings will also help to provide ownership of different items that need to be discussed when everyone is in the same room. When trying to communicate over email or the phone, ownership can become a little difficult to pin down when not everyone is involved at the same time in a discussion. Engagement is higher when you and customers are involved in a meeting, which is always an important step in handling business!
Provides Networking That Otherwise Isn’t Available
By holding business meetings, you create the opportunity to network with individuals and businesses that you normally wouldn’t have been able to. You increase your own network, as well as increase the network for your customers and clients.
Meetings don’t necessarily need to be held in a business setting. Meetings with clients and customers can be done through lunch or dinner for a change of environment, as well as making things less formal. A greater sense of trust starts to develop and the personal relationships that may make a future business deal more easy are being established.
Annual conferences and events are a great way to provide networking opportunities, as well. Providing the opportunity to learn additional skills through breakout sessions, along with pairing people together who may not have had the chance to work on the same projects in the past can create positive networking to further goals and careers.
It’s also a great opportunity to provide the recognition for specific team members, customers, or clients that may have went above and beyond their job. Everyone wants to be recognized for a job well done and doing so in front of peers is a great networking and confidence booster!
Hopefully this gives you an idea on what a great return on investment meetings can really be. Whether it’s a quick meeting once a week or a more elaborate annual conference, all meetings play an important role in the life of business. This is exactly why thought should be given to planning, executing, and following-up with each meeting!
At the end of the day, this is what I do. I take the stress away from you and help you plan a meeting or event that is going to be a huge success for everyone involved! Contact me today for the help you need and I’d be happy to share tips and ideas to get you moving in a productive direction.