Seabrook on...Making your business meetings effective

When you need to speak to someone urgently, as happens on occasions in the newspaper world, getting the response "they are in a meeting" is not very helpful. Asking whether there is a telephone extension in the meeting room sometimes breaks through the barrier, but some companies have lost the chance of free product promotion or a good order because people were in a meeting.

Meetings are fine if they have a good chair and/or secretary, agenda and back-up information. After all, most of the work should have been done beforehand, committee members’ opinions sought and consensus agreed before they start.

I like to see the person in charge go around the table, giving everyone a chance to express their view, take a vote and move on. If there are 15 committee members, each one limited to a few minutes, it means only two subjects are covered in an hour. The more time spent communicating ahead of the meeting, the shorter this time should be.

Often at trade associations, charity organisations and similar meetings, people will have travelled some distance and I find it aggravating for time to be wasted with social chit chat that can be done either before the start time or after the meeting closes.

Who trains people in efficient ways to supervise meetings and should every meeting have an allotted time? There are buyers for leading companies who have a diary filled with very short time slots for people to enter their office, state their business and move out ready for the next appointment.

Now we have rapid exchange of views via email, do we need so many face-to-face meetings? I would not be without them because there is nothing like looking people in the eye. They are, however, a luxury, seldom produce something valuable during the actual meeting and need to be kept short.

We regularly elect officers to committees, but who checks that they are well equipped to manage meetings? Is there such a thing as a training course to chair committees or does that involve yet another meeting?

Peter Seabrook is a gardening writer and broadcaster

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Garden centre and nursery experiences: the next big trend in 2018?

Garden centre and nursery experiences: the next big trend in 2018?

Reports say today's shoppers are as keen to take in "experiences" as they are to shop - and garden centres say they are well-placed to take in the trend.

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

What benefits can buying an extra garden centre bring to retail owners?

What benefits can buying an extra garden centre bring to retail owners?

More garden centres are adding an extra location to their offer - Coolings in Kent being the most recent example of the trend. But why are they doing it - and what are the benefits?

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES 2017

See our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. 

Garden Centre Prices

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles

Neville Stein

Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation

Read latest articles