How to hold meetings correctly – 5 important rules

28 June 2024

The level of technology development has reached such heights that meetings, flyers, meetings, conferences, meetings can be held without leaving the office in an online format. The technologies were appreciated during the quarantine, when everything that was possible was brought into the virtual space. Online meetings are effective if the partners are far from each other in different cities or countries. Video communication saves time, allows you to make decisions quickly, i.e. makes cooperation flexible, constructive and fruitful.

However, you should not abuse technological advances inside the office or company, communicating with subordinates exclusively through the monitor. With personal communication, the return of employees will be much higher. The main thing is to observe the rules of the meeting and not turn it into a meeting of the party congress.

Meetings should be organized systematically


If the team finds out about the meeting every time half an hour before it starts, then no one can really prepare, and the efficiency of such meetings will be zero. For effective collaboration in a team and high involvement of staff, working meetings must be systematized, a schedule must be drawn up and clearly followed. 

If the team is small, then you can meet by agreement when it is convenient for everyone, but still adhere to a certain periodicity. If the company is large, it has many departments and employees, then the schedule should be built taking into account this factor. For example, department heads gather on one day of the week, and managers gather on the other. Each department should also have a meeting schedule.

Why hold meetings

  1. Regular meetings will help to control the workflow, respond to problems in time and solve them collectively.
  2. It is easy to understand the general mood by the emotional state of those present. If the atmosphere is comfortable, the mood in the team is upbeat, then things are going well, there are no conflict situations, people will actively participate in the discussion, share their thoughts. If there are serious disagreements in the team, then this will also be more noticeable during live communication and will help to deal with the problem in time.
  3. Looking eye to eye, it is easier to understand the inner mood of everyone. The manager will immediately understand how much his words reach the listener and whether he can be counted on in the case.
  4. Planning meetings are especially important when a major project is being conceived. A leader is a leader, and success largely depends on how he is set up. If the leader has bright eyes, a positive attitude and radiates energy, this will inevitably be transmitted to the team. This makes it easier for subordinates to believe in success and join in.
  5. Regular meetings with reports on the work done discipline the team. Every official knows that by a certain date, the task must be completed and the report compiled. Or, if for some reason it is not possible to complete the task, it is necessary to prepare a clear justification.  
  6. Live communication is a powerful tool for team building, when everyone cooks in their own juice, without sticking out from behind the monitor, accumulating dissatisfaction and irritation.

Types of meetings

  1. Scheduled meetings where current issues are discussed. These may be topics related to long-term planning, management of current processes, monitoring compliance with project deadlines or its stages. Such meetings always have a schedule, as they involve the presentation of the responsible persons with a report on the results.
  2. Unplanned ones, as the name implies, are assigned as problems arise that need to be solved immediately.

How to prepare for the planning meeting

The meeting

Preparation is the most important part of the event, since the effectiveness of the entire meeting will depend on its quality. You should prepare for several days in order to think over the topic, the rules, and make a list of those present. The following are the approximate rules for preparing for office meetings:

  1. Think over which issues you want to bring up for discussion and make a list of them (topics, goals, questions), and then plan in which order it is more appropriate to hear them. A plan is necessary in order not to miss anything, as well as not to “float” and not jump from one to another, confusing and confusing listeners.
  2. Make a list of employees who should be invited. Don’t call extra people for quantity or just in case. Everyone has the right to vote at the meeting. If there are too many people present and everyone wants to participate in an exchange of views, then the meeting will drag on for several hours, exhaust the audience, and no one will work until the end of the day. Think about whether all the speakers should be present during the entire session, or whether they can be invited only to hear a message or report and let go.
  3. Determine the time. An effective meeting should last from 30 minutes to one hour. It will not be possible to work out solutions in a shorter interval. If the RAM is delayed, those present will simply get tired and stop delving into the essence of the issues. If the meeting clearly does not fit into 60 minutes, it should be divided into 2 parts with a break of 10-15 minutes so that people have time to cheer up – go outside and drink coffee.
  4. Form a structure:
  • take time to summarize the tasks that were set at the previous meeting;
  • discuss future plans with the setting of new tasks;
  • discuss all non–working moments – field trips, corporate parties – at the very end.
  1. Invite the employees you have identified. Do it in person over the phone. If you send out letters, one of the unscrupulous employees will say that he did not have time to read or did not see what would disrupt the plan.
  2. Prepare printed materials so that all employees affected by this receive a copy. 
  3. Oblige everyone to bring notebooks and pens. It is important that employees actively listen and take notes, especially those moments that concern them personally. If the source materials can be printed out in advance, then the ideas that may arise during the discussion are unknown in advance. They should be fixed first of all.

Rules for holding a business meeting

Start the planning meeting always on time

Business meeting

If a manager wants his subordinates to be disciplined, not to be late and to fulfill the requirements accurately, you need to start with yourself. Never be late for the start of meetings and do not let subordinates do it. If a simple order does not work, enter a penalty system.

If, out of the kindness of your heart, you wait for everyone who finishes writing, reads, and talks on the phone, even with a client, then you can only spend 15 minutes to half an hour of working time at the gathering of those present. Plus, the team will have the opinion that there will be nothing for a little delay anywhere. This is where the loosening of discipline begins.

Do not allow one-sidedness

The purpose of the team meeting is to consider as many issues as possible related to working moments and planning for the near future. Many employees of different ranks are employed in the production process, and each has their own job responsibilities. They should report on them. If the head takes over all the reports, then the event will turn into a one-actor theater, which, by the way, is not interesting to everyone.

The task of the head is to make the atmosphere lively, businesslike, creative, and involve everyone present in the discussion.

To set the direction of work, immediately announce the topic of the meeting. Then, in accordance with the plan, a block is held to summarize the performance of past tasks, then proceed to discuss the most important tasks, leave the rest of the topics for last.

If there is a need for brainstorming, indicate this and at the same time remind the rules: everyone speaks out, and no one has the right to criticize any statement.

If the format of the discussions is not brainstorming, still try to involve as many people as possible in the conversation.

Do not turn the RAM into either a party congress or a friendly get-together

Omit the formalities of honoring, long elections and secretary approvals, voting on every sneeze. However, do not cross the line and do not set an extremely familiar tone. Both are extremes that kill the atmosphere of constructive cooperation. Communication is only for you, the tone of the conversation is emphatically strict, the use of phones is prohibited.

Monitor compliance with the regulations

Compliance with the regulations

An important point if you want to keep within the planned time interval. Each speaker should be warned in advance about how much time he is allowed to speak.

Before the start of the discussion stage, also announce that all thoughts, ideas and considerations are expressed by employees in a clearly formulated, understandable form.

Do not allow the discussion to turn into an emotional skirmish

This is a difficult moment. Often, when discussing projects, employees may have different opinions, even to the contrary, which they strongly defend. In this case, emotions often prevail, speakers turn to shouting, the atmosphere heats up, the effectiveness of the meeting decreases.

The head knows about all the contradictions, therefore, before discussing particularly painful topics, it is necessary to warn speakers to try to restrain emotions during speeches.

For his part, the manager can analyze all points of view, identify similarities and start looking for a solution based on this. It may be worth taking a break, thinking about everything after the meeting, talking to each side separately and submitting a more coordinated proposal to the next meeting.

Praise your subordinates

People love it when their work is appreciated. Bonuses and salaries are good, but you should not underestimate public praise. Human psychology is designed in such a way that many people can do more for praise than for a good bonus, which they alone know about.

People are also very sensitive if they notice that some are praised for all sorts of nonsense, while others either do not notice, or see only omissions in their work. For praise and blame in the team, everyone should be equal.

Minutes of the meeting

Minutes of the meeting

All issues, topics, and decisions discussed at the meeting are necessarily fixed in the protocol. Without a written summary of the results, the office meeting will turn into friendly gatherings, following which half of the employees will immediately forget about all the orders they received. The protocol should reflect:

  • date of the event;
  • list of topics discussed;
  • decisions taken;
  • assigned tasks and persons responsible for their execution;
  • deadlines for completing tasks and solutions;
  • signatures of all those present as a guarantee of completion of tasks.

Usually, during offline meetings, the minutes are kept by the secretary. After the meeting is over, he must:

  • process your notes;
  • issue the document properly;
  • collect all signatures;
  • distribute copies.

However, despite all the advantages of face-to-face meetings, it is increasingly necessary to resort to online meetings. In this case, a protocol is also required, which can be maintained by one of the invited participants. But you can simplify the task by using an innovative service created on the basis of artificial intelligence by FollowUP – Al-secretary. By attending all online meetings in the form of an embedded program, he will take over:

  • transcription of conversations (will translate from audio format to text);
  • it will record agreements, tasks, deadlines and responsible persons;
  • will send the materials of the online meeting to its participants.

By integrating the Al-Secretary into your calendar, you will receive Sammari 15 minutes after the end of each meeting, where you will be highlighted:

  • all the key points of the negotiations;
  • participants and their roles;
  • offers;
  • questions that have not yet been answered.

The transcription accuracy is 98%, which guarantees the safety of all information.

FollowUP adapts (teaches) the service to any type of business. Our completed developments are already being applied in the field of:

  • education, helping to record lectures highlighting important points;
  • media for creating transcripts and subtitles for videos;
  • recruiting, facilitating the selection of the most promising candidates;
  • designing for meeting records and decisions made;
  • marketing for the effective implementation of specialized tasks.

The company guarantees complete confidentiality of your negotiations: transcription and sammarization are performed on internal servers and stored in secure databases.  The use of an Al-secretary in virtual negotiation processes may become another rule for holding meetings in companies aimed at the future.

Automatic summary of meetings in Zoom / Google Meets / Microsoft Teams