An Informal Meeting is such a meeting which is not heavily planned and less regulated than a formal business meeting, and it also lacks many of the prominent features of a formal business meeting, such as minutes, a chairperson and a set agenda to carried out. These informal meetings are rather set to take place in a casual place, like at a restaurant or a coffee shop, or at one of the participant’s desks, and do not take place in a boardroom where formal meeting take place. The aim of conducting an informal meeting is to discuss problems faced which don’t have a proper place in a formal meeting. It could be designed to make one of the participants feel more comfortable, easy and informal and freer to speak out their heart and mind which do not usually happen in a formal meeting. The informal allow participants to meet with a level of easiness, comfortable and they feel free to talk each other without any formality. There are no formal demands and needs for informal meetings, this is the reason informal meetings are easily arranged than formal meeting. More things can be discussed in informal meetings, because there is no demand to stick to a formal agenda like that of formal meetings.
Preparing Informal Meeting Agenda
There are many forms of a meeting agenda, but the purpose of all of them is to list meeting topics that need to be discussed in the meeting. Sometimes meetings are arranged informally with some less serious matters that need to be discussed. An informal meeting is always less concentrated and arduous. It is always arranged in a less formal setting. However, it does not mean that it is arranged in an eccentric way. In order to get desired results from a meeting, it should be properly arranged and managed. Like a formal meeting, an informal meeting should also have its own agenda so that meeting participants can follow them as well as there is some discipline and organization in the meeting.
List the invited participants and the time selected for the meeting at the top of the meeting agenda. After adding the meeting topics, it is important to add a time limit to each topic on the agenda and strictly follow it so that all the topics can be discussed and the meeting could close on time. If meeting participants are required to prepare reports and/or updates on certain topics prior to meeting then give out the meeting agendas ahead of time.
Informal Meeting Agenda Template
Here is preview of a Free Sample Informal Meeting Agenda Template created using MS Word,
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Before creating a meeting agenda, start with reviewing the minutes of the previous meeting. The minutes are a synopsis of who attended the meeting, what was discussed, what were decisions that were made, and the results of any votes. It would be very helpful in creating an upcoming meeting agenda if you look for any agenda topics that meeting participants were assigned to follow up on. Include an appraisal of those outstanding issues with updates on their present statuses as a first agenda topic.
Remember that using bullet points in each section of the agenda helps in outlining the important areas of discussion as well as the projected outcomes, which is commonly known as meeting minutes.
Meeting Agenda Templates (Public Domain)
Here is a collection of Free Meeting Agenda Template available online for download.
At the end of the meeting, a brief review of new outstanding issues allows meeting participants to remember them. Also, this is the time to announce any other meeting or forthcoming deadlines. The importance of a meeting agenda cannot be denied, therefore, it should be created carefully. Follow the above mentioned guidelines to create an informal meeting agenda as well as to save your time and energy.
Informal Meeting Agenda Format Guidelines
Although, some decisions cannot be taken at informal meetings, because it is their requirement to be put to a larger group of people at a formal meeting because of some legal restrictions. Informal meetings can be a good way for managers to meet with their staff who feel hesitated to speak put in the formal meeting for their issues that they face within the organization or during work. It allows the lower level staff to be easily able to share their own ideas which can be proved very helpful for improving the performance and the efficiency of an organization. The informal meeting also assists the organization by allowing its employees to share thoughts and ideas which probably have not fully developed so far and if the topic is an unsuitable topic to be discussed out at a formal meeting. They are able to discuss these ideas before presenting those ideas formally in a business meeting.
One should gather all the information before inviting the employee to discuss particular things in an informal meeting Identify specific examples to draw upon within the meeting that may include the details of conduct or issues or growth and performance for which a private location should be selected and should be provided proper time to discuss out or explain the problems being faced the organization or the employee. The organizer of the informal meeting should also be notifying the employee of informal meeting that could be done by face to face communications or by making a phone call or sending an email. The next thing one should ponder is to briefly identify what he needs to discuss at the informal business meeting. The informal meetings are also helpful in discussing a specific concern freely without any formality and proper regulations.