How to Conduct Informal Meetings

When you think of formal meetings, you probably envision a gathering with a set agenda, strict rules, and a designated speaker who leads discussions. There might be a person who writes notes that follow certain guidelines and use formal language. For informal meetings, these conventions may not be in place.

The discussion topic will determine the atmosphere and the way that people interact during the meeting, regardless of whether they are voting or chatting. A meeting that has the sole topic of old work and loose ends can be a good opportunity to discuss important tasks that were left unfinished and how they will impact future work. A meeting with a subject about new business plans would be a good time to discuss these new initiatives, and to assess how they fit into the overall strategy of the company.

It is crucial for participants to feel comfortable speaking out and not be concerned about how they will be perceived. Think about asking a person who is reluctant to speak to elaborate on a topic that was brought up by a group member. This will help keep the discussion on the discussion itself rather than conflicting personalities. As the meeting progresses it is vital to ensure that the conversation remains on-topic and the quorum of participants is in attendance. It is also advisable to follow up with participants after the meeting and solicit feedback, since this will increase the importance of their participation in the outcome of the meeting.