You can’t call yourself an entrepreneur if you haven’t gone to at least one business meeting. Business meetings are a useful tool and standard part of business. They allow you to share ideas, knowledge and projections with a team of people or your staff so that everyone is on the same page.
As an entrepreneur, you’re likely to be the one heading these meetings, which means you’ve got some responsibilities here to set the tone and lead the team. If you can’t successfully accomplish this? Your meeting is in trouble.
The best way to fix this problem is by knowing what mistakes NOT to make before ever setting foot into your meeting location. Here are a few that are common, but that should be avoided at all costs.
Not Being Prepared
This is one of the biggest meeting sins: not being prepared before starting the meeting. As the meeting leader, it’s your job to make sure that you know exactly what you’re talking about. You need to be able to answer questions correctly and inform the team as accurately as possible.
Whether you can achieve this by writing an outline or using notecards, know that you HAVE to make sure you’re prepared to the best of your ability. There’s no faking it until you make it in meetings — if you aren’t prepared, it WILL be obvious.
On a similar note, there is such a thing as being TOO prepared. Let’s say you write down all these important facts and figures on notecards and read them off to your team. Someone asks you a question about the information…but you totally draw a blank and have no idea what to say.
You can’t just go into a meeting with hard facts — you also have to have comprehension and confidence. Be able to talk about what you want to discuss fluidly and accurately at the same time. Be prepared to answer questions that you may not be totally confident in.
No Purpose In Mind
It’s great to have weekly staff meetings…but why? Do you have an objective every time you call your staff together?
You should. Whether it’s something as simple as refining an existing business practice or talking about a new partnership, every meeting should have a clear purpose and talk about a problem to solve. Without an agenda, you’re really just rambling co-workers.
You Don’t Listen
Finally, one of the worst things you can do in a business meeting is make it all about yourself. When you bring people together, the idea is that you can all communicate and share ideas with one another. Many bosses decide to use business meetings to push their own thoughts and agenda, but that’s not respecting their employees.
Even if you have explicit directives you want to give employees, make sure that they also have time to share their thoughts. Listen to what they have to say. Even in cases where you disagree, employees appreciate knowing that you listened and thought about what they had to stay instead of not caring to listen at all.