We’ve all been in one of those meetings. Too hot, not engaging, and you frankly can’t wait until it’s over. Ideally, meetings should be productive, boost creativity and hopefully strengthen team communication. This sounds like a challenge, but this can be achieved by making a few key changes to your meetings.
Always start with a clear goal for the meeting. Outline your objectives and send these out via email to your team prior to the meeting. This way they’ve got a chance to think about ideas and anything they’d like to discuss ahead of time. Avoid calling meets unless there’s a real purpose. Otherwise, it just becomes a regular chore. Don’t call everyone in for something that could be explained in an email.
Think about where you’ll hold your meeting. Most offices have a meeting room but sometimes it’s nice to mix things up. Go outside on a sunny day or head to a local coffee shop. A change of scenery is good for the flow of ideas. If you are doing it in the meeting room, ensure it’s a suitable temperature. No one wants to feel hot and stuffy. Ensure there’s water and maybe coffee on the table.
The biggest distraction is going to be people’s mobiles. If you aren’t using phones for meeting purposes, ask at the beginning if people would refrain from using them. Before calling a meeting, make sure there won’t be any window cleaners or other distractions scheduled.
A great way to engage your audience is by getting them involved in the meeting. Simply talking at someone for half an hour is a quick way to get them to lose interest. Ask peoples options on topics you speak about. Use poll apps to gauge the general consensus on a question. Allow time for people to speak, but of course, ensure no one ends up speaking for too long. Keep things short and snappy.
Be conscious of the time. Prior to the meeting, think about what you need to go over and roughly work out how much time each section will take. Then add it up. Make sure you don’t go over the time limit. Prioritize the most important things and if the meeting overruns, leave less important things for next time. Anything not as significant can always be sent out in an email.
Change it up
If you feel like you’re constantly having the same old meeting, think of ways to change it up. Change the location, the way you present or what you do. Experiment with different kinds of meetings. Have a lunch one, try an active one with more games. Change can be exciting, and it will help evolve your meetings.
At the end of each meeting, always give thanks and show appreciation to your team. It’s always nice to feel valued and this will boost morale. Its also just a nice way to end the meeting.
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