The Difference Between Formal and Informal Meetings

Sometimes information needs to be shared with a department or company in general in a fairly one-directional way, and this calls for formal meetings. Formal meetings usually have a fixed agenda with predefined roles for attendees along with the strictest timeline and protocol. They are designed to boost efficiency and allow for effective decision-making, with outcomes recorded in extensive meeting minutes.

Typically, the person who takes notes at these kinds of meetings adheres to a strict structure and employs formal language when taking minutes. There may also be a defined list of rules regarding who can speak at what times and for the length of time. These meetings can be held in a conference space, however, most of them are conducted via video conference.

In informal meetings, the atmosphere tends to be more relaxed, and participants feel at ease to share their thoughts and opinions. This can help foster a more collaborative environment and is particularly beneficial for teams who work from home or dispersed geographically.

It is important for attendees to be fully engaged in both informal and formal meetings in order to fully comprehend the perspectives and information discussed. You can achieve this engaging methods like Q&A sessions or group discussions. Diverse perspectives can lead to more innovative solutions and more engaging discussions. Regardless of the tone or manner of the meeting, it’s vital to document the most important points and actions items. This helps to ensure accountability, and is a useful basis for future decisions or actions.

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