Effective Meetings with American Clients

Americans appreciate a structured, timely approach to meetings. It is important to have a well-thought out agenda which is followed by the participants. If a person is absent or late, and the agenda has to be shuffled around or changed in order, assure that this is noted in the beginning of the meeting, which I call the 'housekeeping section.' 

How Authentic Journeys can help 
When we run sessions on effective, productive and impressive meetings with US clients, participants reenact a meeting based on a real-life business situation. Though they are required to write an agenda, as a facilitator I don't ask for it. This is because if I can follow the meeting as an observer without an agenda, they are on the right track. In addition to facilitation skills, this requires being present in the moment, coordination, a lot of words, directives and transition phrases, as we will hear in the video below. 

How the British and American Styles of Meeting Management Differ 
The video below is a reenactment of a very structured, well-oiled meeting. The participants in the meeting seem to be British and not American. I'd say the only meeting mannerism that would differ here is the fact that Americans don't mind making more small talk in the beginning of the meeting. Americans may ask about the weather, your weekend, how your day is going, or the traffic as examples of some acceptable small talk topics. In the video below, the meeting participants do not make this kind of small talk, they jump right into the meeting at hand. I hear this is a very British approach- getting directly to the business, skipping small talk. 

Take a look at the video below to extract the following key elements: 
  • How does the moderator help the participants to adjust to the changes in the agenda? 
  • How does the moderator handle the meeting agenda and the presenters?
  • What is the importance of the time keeper?
  • What are some phrases used that help transition between different elements of the meeting? 
  • How are some ways participants look for clarity, ask questions or point out misunderstandings? 
  • What pleasantries are used in the meeting? 
  • What else do you notice in their use of business English that you can apply to your meetings with UK or US counterparts? 



Jennifer Kumar, author of this post helps Indians on virtual, global teams to hold effective meetings and engage in client-facing business interactions with confidence and poise from offshore or onsite. Contact us for more information today. 

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