How to Conduct Informal Meetings

When you think about formal meetings, you could imagine a formal meeting with a strict agenda with a designated speaker and an established protocol. There may also be a person who writes notes that follow certain guidelines and use formal language. These conventions may not be observed in informal meetings.

The topic of discussion will determine the tone and how people interact in the meeting, whether they are voting or chatting. For example, a meeting with a single topic of loose ends and old business is a great chance to address important items that were previously left unfinished and discuss the impact these items will have on the future work. A meeting with a subject regarding new business plans would be a great chance to discuss the new initiatives, and assess how they are incorporated into the overall strategy of the business.

It is crucial that the participants feel comfortable speaking their opinions in the meeting, and that they are not worried about how their ideas will be taken into consideration. Consider asking a member who is not comfortable speaking to elaborate on a subject suggested by another member of the group. This will help keep the discussion focused on ideas and not be a conflict of personalities. It is crucial to keep the conversation on topic and ensure that a quorum remains in the room as the meeting progresses. It is also beneficial to follow up with attendees following the meeting to solicit feedback, since this will highlight the importance of their participation in the meeting’s outcome.

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