How to Conduct Informal Meetings

When you think of formal meetings, you might imagine a meeting that has a specific agenda, strict protocol and an assigned speaker who leads discussions. Someone might note notes in a formal way and have a particular structure. These conventions may not be observed in informal meetings.

The topic of discussion will determine the atmosphere and the way that people interact during the meeting, whether they are voting or discussing. A meeting that has the sole subject of old work and loose ends could be a great chance to discuss significant issues which have not been completed and how they could impact the future work. Also, a meeting that has an agenda item on new business plans could be an ideal opportunity to discuss the new initiatives and assessing how they are incorporated into the overall strategy of the company.

It is essential that the participants feel comfortable expressing their ideas in the group, and that they don’t worry about how their views will be taken into consideration. You might want to ask a person who is hesitant to speak to elaborate on a subject mentioned by a fellow group member. This will help to keep the group focused on thoughts and not on a clash of personalities. As the meeting progresses, it is crucial to ensure that the discussion stays on the right track and the quorum of participants is present. It is also helpful to follow-up with participants after the meeting to solicit feedback, since it will help to reinforce the importance of their involvement in the outcome of the meeting.

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