Improving leadership skills at work can have a huge impact on an administrative professional’s career growth. However, it may not always be easy to find opportunities to do this at work. One simple way to practice leadership skills is to lead a business meeting.
Business meetings are a familiar setting, and professionals require a few basic leadership skills to lead them effectively. If you are preparing for your first meeting, here are a few tips on how to lead a business meeting.
One of the fundamental keys to a successful business meeting is to start and end on time. Everyone in attendance likely has a busy schedule. Your meeting is important, but it’s not so important that it should be disruptive to anybody’s work day.
On top of that, if your meeting runs long, you risk losing the room’s attention. If you start late, you’ll have a tougher time earning the respect and attention of your audience, to begin with. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the time frame of your business meeting. You might even make a rough outline of how much time to spend on each topic covered in the meeting.
A more difficult skill to master when leading business meetings is striking the right tone in your communication. Meeting leaders should be assertive and direct in their communication. Not only does this instill confidence, but it is also crucial if you wish to get your message across effectively.
Assertive communication means speaking with authority and without ambiguity. For clear communication, you should avoid using technical language or confusing terminology so that everybody can understand you.
Listening is a critical part of communication as well, especially when leading a business meeting. Successful business meetings should allow everyone to participate. Make sure there is room on the agenda for others to share their feedback. And, when that time comes, be sure that you are actively listening and engaging in a dialogue.
Documenting and sharing your meeting notes can help others reflect on key points and topics after the fact. Also, sending out notes after the fact is a great way to affirm everything that was covered in the meeting. This habit can also help you and your co-workers work toward the goals that were covered in your meeting.
Last, but certainly not least, every business meeting needs an agenda. Without a business meeting agenda, the participants might not know the purpose of the meeting. This can cause confusion or indifference about the meeting. Having an agenda is also essential because it helps you, the meeting leader, stay on track. If this is your first time hosting a business meeting, your agenda is your guide in moments of uncertainty.
If you’re new to organizing business meetings, you may be unsure what to include in your agenda. A business meeting agenda does not need to be a large document, but it is very important. Each agenda will be different, but several key elements should always be included:
What type of meeting will this be?
What are the goals of the meeting?
What key topics will be discussed?
How much time will be spent on each topic?
How much time will be used for discussion
You should also be sure to include any necessary supporting documents.
All of these tips can be applied to any meeting, whether in-person or virtual. Want to learn more about the specific demands of organizing virtual business meetings? Consider taking ASAP’s webinar on how to lead engaging virtual meetings.