Everyone knows that the key to any successful business is strong teamwork. Leaders need to involve the team as much as possible, scheduling meetings so everyone can participate.
While you may be tempted to avoid meetings by simply sending an email, this isn't always a good idea. So before you hit 'send' on that next email, consider these five things.
How important is the issue?
How will this discussion affect the big picture? Will it affect the working life of your team? Does a decision need to be made quickly and efficiently? If you need input from multiple team members and the result will affect everyone, then a meeting would be best. If the issue is something that isn’t especially complex, an email may suffice.
Do you require key stakeholders to be present?
Some decisions require input from specific people. For example, you may want your team to be trained in a new skill, but before giving the green light you need the input of your budget administrator and your human resources rep. In this case it's easier to just have a meeting with those particular people rather than starting an extensive email trail.
Are there graphics or visuals?
A picture is worth a thousand words. If your discussion requires more than one visual, graphic or video, a meeting would work best so you can adequately expand on your points. On the other hand, if you have no need for visuals, an email may be enough to address the issue.
Who will attend?
Before calling a product business meeting, consider the audience. How many people will need to provide input? What are their schedules like? Are they essential to the conversation? If there are multiple necessary people involved in the conversation and they have the time, go ahead and have a meeting. An email would only be more appropriate if you can eliminate most of the people as unessential or if some are strapped for time.
Do you need to give criticism?
Emails lack tone and therefore can be easily misunderstood, so they're not an ideal tool for delivering delicate messages such as criticism. People often believe that delivering this type of message via email will protect them from any consequences, but this often just results in the issue becoming even worse. A better method is to hold a meeting where the issue can be discussed and resolved quickly by the parties involved.
Have you considered logistics?
Before summoning the whole crew to an off-site business meeting, evaluate the details. Do you need a meeting venue? Will it be expensive? Will you need to travel to get there, or could you hold an audio conference instead from the comfort of your office? Make sure that your meeting is thoroughly cost-effective before you start.
With a little bit of careful consideration, you can prioritise strong communication and teamwork by making the right choice between meetings and emails. Your team will be able to use their meeting time to achieve their goals while using emails to deal with less important tasks. Make your meetings even more efficient with more advice available here.