If you've never left a meeting thinking "this could have been an email", you are one of the lucky ones!
While some favor (virtual) in-person exchanges others prefer quick, clear and concise emails.
Naturally, each situation is unique and you simply cannot always please everyone. The goal is to find a good balance where employees and business partners alike recognize the value in all communications.
The following tips can help you optimize the duration of your meeting or perhaps avoid it all together by using a more efficient tool.
Make the best of your email features
If, like many companies, you use outlook, start utilizing the voting buttons!
They are a user-friendly and effective way to have answers to close-ended questions. The system will provide generic answers or you can customize them as you please.
You may use multiple voting buttons in one email and results can be tracked.
Surveys should not be limited to employee or client satisfaction studies. If you are looking for answers or opinions regarding more complex cases or for more open-ended questions,
send out a survey to the concerned members of your organization.
The answers provided will certainly help you better prepare for a meeting and address matters by priority.
Make a phone call
Messenger chatting is great for a quick touch base, but when you've been sending messages back and forth for 20 minutes, a call might be the better solution.
We hardly ever ''pick up the phone'' anymore to communicate and we should start doing more of it.
A phone call will make for a nice escape from your screen and a pleasant way to discuss a given matter.
Master meeting management
In many cases, a meeting is the more logical and effective way to proceed.
A sensitive subject, a rollout that will have a direct impact on the attendees, or the necessity of immediate feedback are all reasons for which a meetings is the better suited form of communication.
Meeting management starts with scheduling an appropriate timeframe for the subject, sending out clear guidelines and an agenda including the topics covered and allotted time.
During the meeting, ensure that the agenda is respected. When sending out the notes or minutes, outline the next steps, if appropriate.
If the options above allow for a more efficient and effective use of our time, we can never underestimate the impact that a quality social exchange or quick banter can have on our day or mood and consequently on the team spirit.
Finding balance between different communication means is an essential part of your company's success.