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Face-to-face meetings

If you work for an organisation, it is very likely that you will have to attend meetings. Just like all other forms of business communication, meetings have a purpose: they are opportunities to meet colleagues, managers, clients and business partners to brainstorm ideas, share information, plan projects or make decisions.

While within your organisation you may have opportunities to meet informally, either one-to-one or in small groups in an office, corridor or coffee shop, most meetings are formally organised events that follow an agenda and are facilitated by a chairperson. Some meetings may have more than one purpose, for example to share information and make a decision. Most meetings can be classified into four main categories:

  • Team meetings tend to be short, regular and mostly informal. Their objective is to report progress, identify any challenges, and align the objectives and resources of the team. The team manager will lead the meeting and act as chair, ensuring that it covers all relevant issues and information exchanged. Agendas can be standard for each meeting. The meeting should, however, result in clear actions.

  • Information meetings are to share information, such as financial or operational data. The information is usually shared through one or more oral presentations supported by visuals and followed by Q&A (question and answer) sessions. The participants may include senior management and team members.

  • Brainstorming meetings are usually held when it is necessary to explore new opportunities, find solutions to a problem or when planning for innovation. The objective is to generate a large number of ideas from a range of different perspectives. These are collected, discussed and evaluated but participants don’t aim to reach a decision.

  • Decision-making meetings are used to make important decisions. Key processes may include brainstorming, sharing information, evaluating options and voting.

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This article is from the free online course:

Business Fundamentals: Effective Communication

The Open University