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Communication Savvy - International Meetings

Schlagwörter: Business Trainer, Meetings auf Englisch, Reisen, Englisch lernen, Business English

An international business meeting is very expensive to run. Just think of the number and cost of the manhours involved – plus the expenses for travel, hotel and conferencefacilities. That requires running efficient meetings and striving for effective results.


We too often sit in meetings and wish we were somewhere else. The chairperson is weak. Some people talk at great length about unimportant points. Others never say a word. Native speakers dominate the discussions and the meeting overruns the planned time by more than an hour.

Meeting evaluation

The best way to ensure that your meetings in English are both efficient and effective is to include a meeting evaluation as part of the agenda. Meeting participants can be asked to write the answers to four simple questions at the conclusion of each meeting:

1. How clear were the goals of the meeting?

2. Did you get the agenda in good time?

3. Was an appropriate and understandable level of English used ?

4. How satisfied were you with the result of the meeting?

To make life easier for everyone, you can ask people to rate their answers on a scale of 1 – 6 where 1 = excellent and 6 = very poor. The answers are provided to the chairperson who reports the results inthe minutes of the meeting.

Additional questions

If you know the evaluation will take place every meeting, it encourages you to improve your performanceand help others do the same. But you need to prevent this evaluation process from becoming too automatic.

Occasionally add new questions to the evaluation

• How well did the chairperson run the meeting?

• What prevented the meeting from being more effective?

• How was our timekeeping? • How good is the meeting room?

• How supportive were we of each other when speaking in a second language?

Get outside help

Maybe you have regular international meetings with the same group of people such as a project team. In these situations, it's sometimes helpful to get an experienced outsider to sit in on one or two of your meetings and run a processreview each time. This outsider could be a respected manager or a communication skills consultant.

Their role is to help your meeting participantdiscover what they need to change in order to improve. They should act as a coach or mentor and should always try to get you to take full responsibility for any improvements. In this way your meeting group can become a “learning organisation." You learn how to derive lessons to guide future meetings.

Focus on the "what"

In business of course, it is important to concentrate on the “what” – or the contents of any business process. But sometimes we need to take a step back and think about the “how” – which is the process itself. How can we work better with each other? What can we do to improve our own personal performance? And this is especially important in situations where there are different linguistic and cultural backgrounds at play.

In summary, integrating a review process will help make sure that your international meetings are efficient and effective.

Schlagwörter: Business Trainer, Meetings auf Englisch, Reisen, Englisch lernen, Business English

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