Tips for Chairing a business meeting
Business meeting

The last of the current tips around chairing meetings is aimed at providing ideas for different types of meeting. Last week the tips covered moderating, democracy and timekeeping.

Traditionally recurring meetings are held in the same room with people sitting in almost the same position as last time. In order to shake things up it is sometimes changing how and where meetings are run. A simple way is just make sure that you sit in a different place each time, whether you are attending the meeting or chairing it.  If you sit at an oblong table rotate who sits at the end (the apparent status position).  Even changing the shape of the table (if possible) can have a considerable impact.

For those familiar with stand ups from the Scrum development it is worth trying to run a meeting standing up. Certainly people pay more attention and also want to get the meeting done and dusted with faster. There has been academic research done into this style of meeting and there is an etiquette and methodology that needs to be followed depending upon the style of meeting.

Alternatively why not take the meeting to a new venue. There is a downside that this can take time but actually going outside your building, getting some fresh air (assuming you aren’t somewhere that has high levels of pollution can make a difference). Alternatively have the meeting in an open area.

Barriers can be created between those who attend meetings and those who don’t. If there is nothing confidential about a meeting why go into a room at all?  It is easily possible to have a small meeting in an open plan area.

Not all of these ideas will work in every situation, companies or even for specific personalities, but if your meetings are getting stale, change them up!

Finally a word of caution, there is an immense amount of material on cultural differences out there. If you are in an International Business situation you would be advised to research some of the challenges that you may face. One site that is worth a look is Passport to Trade set up in part by Salford Business School it has a host of suggestions for international business in Europe.


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