Tips for effective meeting management as small business owners

In any meeting, it’s essential to manage time and people effectively, especially when you’re in a leadership role. As a small business owner, your presence in a meeting can make or break the success of a project or initiative. However, it’s easy to fall into the trap of either not speaking enough or talking too much, both of which can lead to negative outcomes. 

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Let’s explore  the benefits of effective meeting management and provide some guidelines for when leaders should speak in meetings.

Speak Up When it Matters:

As a leader, your input carries more weight than other members of the team. Therefore, it’s important to speak up when your expertise and insights are needed. In situations where key decisions are being made, or crucial information is being discussed, your input is essential to align everyone’s perspectives and ensure a common understanding of the issue at hand. However, it’s important to be strategic and avoid dominating the conversation. Leaders who talk too much can create a hostile environment that stifles creativity and hinders progress.

Set the Tone for Collaborative Discussions:

The most effective meetings are those that foster constructive and collaborative discussions. Leaders should set the tone by encouraging everyone to contribute and provide their unique perspectives. With this approach, everyone’s ideas can be heard and considered, leading to better decision-making and more innovative solutions. Leaders who speak less and listen more typically facilitate these kinds of meetings.

Lead by Example:

As a leader, your behavior sets the standard for the rest of the team. In meetings, you should model the behavior you want your team to exhibit. This means being present, active listening, and asking thoughtful questions that encourage open dialogue. As a CEO, you can also delegate speaking opportunities to other team members, empowering them to take ownership of ideas and be accountable for results.

Be Mindful of Your Impact on Others:

In meetings, it’s essential to be mindful of the impact your words and actions have on others. As a leader, you should be attentive and empathetic to the needs and feelings of your team members. If someone is being interrupted or talked over, you should step in and redirect the conversation, ensuring everyone has an opportunity to contribute. Leaders who cultivate a respectful and inclusive environment are more likely to build trust and inspire loyalty.

Know When to Step Back:

Lastly, it’s important to know when to step back and let others take the lead. As a CEO, you have a lot of responsibilities and can’t be everywhere at once. At times, you may need to delegate decision-making or let other team members take ownership of a project or initiative. By doing so, you’re empowering your team to grow and develop, and you’re creating an environment where everyone feels valued and appreciated.

In conclusion, effective meeting management requires leaders to be strategic, active listeners, and mindful of their impact on others. Leaders should speak up when their expertise is needed, set the tone for collaborative discussions, lead by example, be respectful and inclusive, and know when to step back. By following these guidelines, you can create a positive meeting environment that fosters creativity, innovation, and progress towards your goals. Remember, as a leader, your presence can have a significant impact on the success of your team, so use it wisely.

Ariane Morin, CCJM Consulting Ltd Consulting Ltd Project Manger

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