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Success of a meeting begins with a good start

Updated on April 29, 2014

If you believe that how you end your meeting is very important, you are only partially right. The fact is that if you start your meeting in the right manner, there are chances the meeting may turn out to be a huge success.

During the course of running your business, you may conduct several meetings either as the owner or as a manager. You may have meetings with your colleagues, may hold meetings with your clients and so on. Experts suggest that you should use the concept of “check-ins” to begin the meetings successfully.

If you implement this concept in your meetings, you will ask some typical questions such as how the attendees are feeling, what they expect to know from the session and so on. You can ask certain specific questions that clarify to you the critical points they may like to discuss in the meeting. Another specific question may be if the attendees have anything particular about which they are excited or concerned. In weekly meetings conducted for junior-level managers, you can ask check-in questions like if they have any highs or lows during the week or if they need any help for any particular issue, etc.

The best benefit of such check-in questions is that they encourage the attendees to focus fully on the proceedings of the meeting. Everyone will listen to what others say. In general, in many of the meetings, there may be distractions due to which many attendees may not focus on what others speak. But check-ins can be useful in achieving undivided attention towards the proceedings of your meeting. In other words, appropriate check-in questions can "pull the attendees into the meeting." There may not be any comments on the answers of others to these questions.

Check-in questions may help you get inputs from introverts also. Attendees may also realize that the meeting is not going to be an one-way tirade because everyone will have a chance to answer these questions.

Check-in questions can bring people closer also. For example, if you arrange a meeting with your employees some of whom you may not know very intimately, you can know the places they hail from or the experiences they have had during the day or the week. Experts say that if you come to know of the places the attendees hail from, you may be able to build good relationship with them. This will help in developing mutual trust also.

It is the wrong notion of some people that check-in questions slow meetings down. The fact is that the attendees will be able to know about others more quickly than how they know and understand through one-on-one conversations. Even if some of the attendees are tired, sick or are not comfortable with these questions, they will have a chance to ventilate their feelings, thanks to the efficacy of this concept.

It is true that some people may have an awkward feeling when you introduce this concept but you will ultimately derive immense benefits out of it. In fact, the benefits outweigh the efforts you make for implementing the concept.

You can use this concept at home also. For example, you can use this step during dinner time so that you can make your teenage children open up.

Check-out questions are also as effective as check-in questions. In fact, some of the appropriately worded check-out questions may get you information about the follow-up steps attendees intend to take. Check-out questions may bring out some of the most important points that have been missed out during the meetings also.
You can give a serious thought about this concept, introduce it appropriately in your company and derive its advantages.

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