Here’s the thing:
Meetings can be a total time suck.
At the same time, there ARE situations when meetings are needed.
To help you figure out those situations, we put together this guide on the importance of meetings.
Read on to learn five reasons you need meetings.
The importance of meetings
A lot of business hours are wasted on meetings.
Meetings cost businesses as much as $37 billion every year.
What more, 30% of the time employees spend in meeting rooms is considered unproductive.
After all, there are tons of better and more effective communication tools.
Email, Slack, Google Drive… You name it.
So… Why DO you need meetings?
Here’s the thing:
Not every meeting is a waste of time.
Some of them are necessary. They’re needed to ensure your organization is run effectively.
Here at Minute, our goal is to make sure every meeting counts.
And this is key. To hold effective meetings, you need to know why (and when) they’re necessary.
So what is the importance of meetings?
Here are the five most important reasons you should hold meetings.
1. You collaborate better
Sometimes meetings are the best way to collaborate.
The thing is:
As humans, a lot of our communication is nonverbal.
So things like facial expressions, body language, and gestures.
In some situations, we need to be in the same room to understand each other.
(Or, at least see each other on video.)
Tools like Slack and Google Drive just can’t do the same thing for us.
After all, writing to someone doesn’t convey the same thing as talking to someone face-to-face.
That’s because there are nonverbal cues that might not get picked up.
And that’s exactly why meetings are needed.
Why nonverbal communication can make all the difference
But… Why is nonverbal communication so important? Why does it make a difference?
Here’s the thing:
Body language makes up 55% of your communication.
What does this mean?
Thanks to your body language, people trust you.
You can also make yourself understood much better. For example, you can clarify when you talk to someone face-to-face.
And that’s why in-person meetings are so important.
When are face-to-face meetings a must?
So, when are face-to-face meetings a must?
When there’s no room for misunderstandings or confusion.
So- mission critical meetings.
In these situations face-to-face meetings are non-negotiable.
2. One type of meeting that should always be held in person
If there’s ONE type of meeting that needs to be held face-to-face, it’s this:
Meetings where you try to get the counterpart to say “yes”.
Sales meetings or internal meetings where you need to persuade a co-worker or another department.
Because you have so many more chances to persuade someone face-to-face.
People say yes to people they trust.
And trust is based on different things.
How authoritative people perceive you to be, what you wear, how you speak…
Sure, you can make your emails and phone calls sound authoritative. But you’ll get results much faster if you meet someone in person.
How to get people to say “yes” in face-to-face meetings
So how DO you get someone to say yes in your meetings?
- Dress appropriately. One of the first things people notice about you is how you dress. This doesn’t mean you have to wear a costume every time- in fact, you shouldn’t. Instead, dress for the occasion. So if you meet with people in hoodies, you should wear one, too. If you meet with people in costumes, that’s your dress code.
- Mirror gestures. Show people you’re like them by mirroring their gestures. So if someone nods in agreement, you nod. If someone leans forward, you do, too.
- Be assertive. Last, one of the best ways to get someone to say “yes” is to be assertive. Show you’re confident without being pushy or aggressive.
3. Want to build and strengthen your team? Meetings are the answer
In-person meetings are one of the best team building tools.
Sure- meetings can quickly make employees feel demotivated.
That is if you hold too many meetings or they’re not productive.
But if you run effective meetings, then they can be a great way to improve teamwork and bring your team members closer.
Because during meetings, your team gets to sit down together.
If you run your meeting effectively, you can instill that feeling of working towards a shared mission.
And here’s why it matters.
How to improve teamwork by working towards a shared mission
Here’s the thing:
Sharing a sense of purpose is one of the best ways to work together as a team.
That’s because people feel they’re up together against a challenge.
And if there’s one thing that unites people, it’s overcoming challenges.
That’s just how our brains work. You see, people understand the world in stories.
So people see the world as:
Problems and solutions. There’s always a challenge that needs to be overcome.
That’s why you should paint the picture by talking about the challenge your team faces.
When you explain their work in this way, your teamwork will instantly improve.
4. Why meetings are a great way to resolve issues
You know how it is:
There will be frictions in any organization.
The best way to communicate in these situations?
Yup, that’s right- face-to-face meetings.
Why is that?
Because when you meet face-to-face, you have much more control over how people perceive you.
So it’s much easier to come off as unthreatening and trustworthy when you meet in person.
Just think about it:
When is there a bigger risk for misunderstandings- when you email someone or meet them in person?
Yup, when you email them.
That’s why you need to learn how to use meetings to solve issues.
How to resolve issues in meetings
One of your best tools in conflict-resolution meetings?
Your facial expressions and your body language.
As we’ve seen, people notice most your non-verbal communication.
And how do you use these to show you’re not a threat?
Use inviting and positive gestures like nodding and sitting with your feet and face towards the person you’re talking to. Avoid crossing your arms because this makes it seem as if you’re rejecting the other person.
Try not to seem stressed or nervous. So avoid shaking your leg or playing with anything.
At the end of the day, these tips will help you de-escalate any conflict faster than you know.
5. Need a creativity boost? Your meetings can help
Last but not least:
Your meetings can improve your team’s creativity.
By working together, your team members can come up with new ideas- ideas they wouldn’t have come up with on their own.
This doesn’t mean you should hold brainstorming meetings and call it a day.
Nope. While meetings are needed to improve creativity, they’re not enough.
An experiment found that people who first brainstormed ideas alone, then shared their ideas with a group, then brainstormed alone again and finally, brainstormed together with the group, were the most creative.
They generated far more ideas than people who brainstormed on their own or alone and in a group (but without brainstorming on their own again).
This shows just how important your meetings are for people’s creativity.
How to run successful meetings
Now that you know when to hold meetings… How do you hold successful meetings?
Use this 3-step approach.
#1: Plan ahead.
First things first…
A successful meeting requires that you plan ahead.
Let me explain:
If you leave out the planning phase, all your decisions are made during the meeting.
What does this mean?
Your meeting participants aren’t on the same page. You waste valuable time when people familiarize themselves with the meeting topics and discuss irrelevant things.
Create an agenda and send it out before your meeting.
Ask people to come prepared. For example, if they’re presenting during the meeting, they should send out memos to everyone before the meeting.
#2: Keep it short.
Nope, you don’t need a full hour when you hold your meeting.
Short meetings tend to be the best meetings.
That’s because short meetings force people to stay focused.
And focused meetings are productive meetings.
#3: Follow up.
Your meeting doesn’t end when you’ve met face-to-face.
Nope. You still need to ensure that your meeting goals are put into practice.
And that’s done by following up to check that you’re on the right
Over to you!
So there you have it.
These are the 5 main reasons that show the importance of meetings… Plus, the simple solution to running effective meetings when you need to schedule one.
Over to you.
What’s the #1 reason you hold meetings?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.