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How To Conduct A Proper Business Meeting

Person standing in front of 4 people conducting a meeting

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There are many legal requirements and compliance procedures in business. And you can face anything at any time. So here’s how to conduct a proper business meeting for lawful purposes.

Always Record What Is Discussed

Recording what is discussed in a formal and legal business meeting is required by law in almost all countries. You can do this using video, audio or minutes. Minutes are the preferred legal method since they are an established method of recording what is discussed in a business meeting, especially board meetings.

Featured - Meeting Minutes Revisited

Writing good meeting minutes revisited

I'm not sure why people are writing a lot of minutes at the moment (or at least looking for information about it), perhaps it's to do with the fact that our roles are becoming more diverse and we're being asked to do tasks that

To record minutes, you need to hire someone qualified to use a free board minutes template since it is a skill that most people don’t have. And you can’t do it yourself since you need to focus on the meetings and for conflict of interest.

A Proper Business Meeting Requires Two Or More

For a meeting to be designated as such by law, two or more people must be present. Of course, the meeting must be for valid business reasons. And two people simply having lunch or coffee while discussing business will not be counted as a valid business meeting unless otherwise arranged as such.

Remember that should business interests that impact employees, a company or values be discussed, the meeting could be considered illegal. This is if the prerequisites that constitute a legal business meeting are not met, such as pre-arrangement and minutes.

Meetings Must Be For Lawful Purposes

Of course, anything discussed at a business meeting must be lawful. For example, gathering to pitch ideas on how to manipulate stock prices is considered an illegal meeting. Additionally, the type of business you are involved in must also be lawful.

As an example, the American Mafia, for instance, cannot gather to discuss anything criminal pursuant to the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. The act prevents two or more people from discussing illegal business. It carries penalties of 20 years in prison and fines into the tens of thousands.

Extra: Examples Of A Poor Business Meeting

As a business owner or manager, you will be no stranger to meetings. Meetings are called for many reasons, such as employee assessment, financial reports and marketing strategies. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to hold meetings. The wrong way includes:

  • There is no clearly defined agenda to be discussed, wasting time and money.
  • People show up late because of no reasonable prior notice or specified importance.
  • Discussions veer off-topic or turn personal instead of staying professional.
  • One person takes over the meeting, while others don’t voice their concerns.
  • Personnel in other locations aren’t included via remote technologies.

Everyone needs to know why they are gathered for a meeting, or you cannot hope for a desirable outcome. Yet discussions must also stay on the subject for the duration of the session. And you should try to include all relevant parties even if they aren’t physically present.

Ensure A Meeting Doesn’t Take Too Long

You’ve probably been there. A business meeting that takes too long drags on and ends in no clear solution. This is bad for business and only serves to decrease productivity. Additionally, employees and other relevant parties will come to dread a meeting and, therefore, won’t be as active, only adding to the problem.

The solution is relatively simple. Assign a dedicated time slot for a meeting, and then divide your time for individual items. And never allow time to go over for anything. You can always schedule another meeting if something isn’t reached.

Define a Subject for a Proper Business Meeting

Your business meetings need a clearly defined agenda. Without a clear structure, you present too much opportunity for your session to go sideways, such as going off-topic or running too long. And that is a disaster that achieves nothing while costing time and money.

So first, you can ensure your meeting has an agenda by discussing it with your team beforehand. Define the most essential points you need to get across and make time for them in your schedule. And also, send a memo to all attendees so they can prepare questions for the meeting.

Conduct Must Always be Responsible

A business meeting is essential for one thing, and one thing only. To provide a solution to a problem. Therefore, meetings must always be professional and presentable, with everyone in attendance bringing something to the table, so to speak. So there’s no need for off-colour remarks, and it’s not a boy’s club.

If you are in a position of authority, you have the chance to get this across by asking people who engage in misconduct to leave. A meeting is called to get things done, not slack off and meet with buddies. So anyone not contributing is wasting time.

Wrapping Up

A proper business meeting is essential for reaching an objective. Your sessions must always be recorded for legal reasons, with a clear agenda that discusses legal subjects professionally.

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