There are many factors to consider when choosing the best meeting style for a business. The best meeting style for a particular company can vary greatly depending on the industry, the size of the workforce, and the purpose of the meeting. Something that many business leaders may not consider when planning a meeting is their own management style. However, choosing a meeting format that matches a person’s management style is essential for useful and effective meetings.
There are many different management styles, but they can all be divided into three categories authoritarian, democratic, and laissez-faire. This article will look at each of these management styles and discuss the best type of meeting formats for a particular management style.
The most traditional forms of management follow an authoritative style. This is where a single person is responsible for making the decisions for the team or company. Though the term “authoritative” sounds menacing, it’s the natural management style for many organizations. For example, a business owner has the final say in all decisions of their company, since it’s their investment. Even in large corporations, district managers are tasked with making decisions for their area that will be implemented down the chain. Authoritative managers listen to the advice and suggestions of others, but in the end, they are the one that makes the decision.
All remote meeting formats work well with an authoritative management style as long as the platform they choose has tools that allow business leaders to control the meeting. Together Talk Audio from The Conference Group has a Lecture Mode Conference where participants in the conference are placed into a “listen only” mode, and only the Leader can be heard. This is useful for presentations where management has a prepared statement to read or where they are explaining a new policy to workers. Together Talk Audio also has an option Blast Dial feature where leaders can use dial lists to call meeting participants before or during a conference call automatically. Even meetings that need thousands of participants can be handled with services from The Conference Group. Our Operator Assisted, Operator Assisted Plus and Scheduled call services can help business leaders manage the flow of large conference calls.
Video Meetings are another good option for leaders who have an authoritative management style. Business leaders can use video meetings to have a face-to-face conversation with remote team members. Together Talk Video can be used to host up to six video feeds and allows hundreds of participants to watch the stream. This is perfect for when the management team needs to give a visual presentation or speech to the rest of the company or remote workers. Webinars, like the ones that can be done with Together Talk Web, are another option for business leaders that need to give a visual presentation to a large audience.
As companies became larger and more complex, many business leaders began to use democratic management styles. Rather than having all of the decisions made by a single person, democratic managers allow the group they lead to make a decision, usually by a vote. When an organization isn’t owned by a single person, or when responsibility is spread amongst several individuals, democratic management styles can be used to make decisions with the most consensus from the group. Democratic management styles are often seen in boardrooms and on teams where multiple members share the responsibility for a project.
When hosting a remote meeting with a democratic management style, it’s important to allow robust discussion, without the meeting descending into chaos. Depending on the size of the group, video meetings may be the best choice. Video meetings allow a remote team to interact with each other as if they were meeting in person. Together Talk Video from the Conference Group can be used to host video meetings with up to six video feeds which meet the needs of most organizations. Special accommodations can be made for organizations that need more cameras. The video can also be streamed to other stakeholders so that they can see the decision-making process in action.
Conference calls are a good choice for meetings with a democratic management style that have a large number of participants. If a group of 25 people is going to discuss and vote on an issue, there’s little benefit in streaming 25 video feeds. To fit them all on a screen, each video would be too small to be particularly useful. Besides being able to host hundreds or thousands of participants, conference calls also have features that make it easier to handle large conversations. For example, the Q&A feature from Together Talk Audio makes it easier to control the flow of the conversation by selecting who is speaking. This form of electronic hand raising is good for letting all of the stakeholders speak without everyone trying to speak at once. Best of all, there is a Polling feature that lets the team leader ask a question and get votes back from the call attendees. So when the meeting is finished, and a decision must be made by the group, it’s easy for the manager to quickly get a clear vote result while on the call.
There are also benefits to using webinars for meetings with a democratic style. Because the screen controls can be passed from person to person, everyone can present their own materials that can aid in the group’s decision-making process. Together Talk Web from The Conference Group has many features that can help groups collaborate.
Though less common than the previous styles, laissez-faire management styles have grown in popularity. Laissez-faire is French for “Let do” and essentially refers to a system where things are allowed to progress naturally. While this sounds more chaotic than the other management styles, it’s often the only way to manage a decentralized group. For example, a trade association may not be able to control exactly what its members do. However, the organization can provide advice and guidance that members can implement as they wish.
In a laissez-faire management style, the most important thing is to give information to the team which they can use to make their own decisions and strategies. Webinars are a great tool for accomplishing this goal. Managers can give an online presentation to large groups of people that explain suggestions, strategies and showcase the relevant data used. Together Talk Web from The Conference Group has many of the advantages of using video meetings along with the ability to show the screen from a computer. This can be used to show a slideshow or data from an application that couldn’t be easily shared in a video meeting or conference call.
Remote meeting tools, in general, are good for laissez-faire management styles. Conference calls and webinars can be recorded for later use. This means that managers can create a library of content that can be viewed at any time by those who need it. Making sure that helpful information is always available to team members is an important part of a successful laissez-faire management style.
No matter what management style you use to structure your meetings, remote meeting tools from The Conference Group can help business leaders get the most from their gatherings. To learn how remote meetings can help your organization, contact a meeting specialist from The Conference Group today.