Oh no, it’s that time again! The dreaded meeting of the week with the team. As a business leader, it is your job to run the meeting, but you dread it because you do not see the group paying attention to the information you have. They seem to listen to the first bit, then lose track and drift off, or they don’t chime in with ideas when you pose a question. If this describes you, don’t worry! I have some helpful tips for you to try and implement in your next meeting.
Set up a clearly defined meeting agenda
Having a plan is much like having a blueprint of a house. They help narrow in on topics that need to be discussed and help others see the direction the meeting is going—the less blurry, the better. Creating defined topics to discuss allows others to be prepared for the discussion and have ideas ready. Part of the reason some wouldn’t participate is that they didn't have time to formulate ideas to share. The best way to communicate this message to your team is to email or instant message them with what you plan on going through a day before the meeting date to give them time to prepare. Before the meeting itself, quickly run through what you plan on doing.
Always celebrate something
People love positivity! Try starting a meeting off with something positive. The message doesn’t always have to be work-related, a birthday, a new pet, or some good news in somebody's life. It is up to you, but make sure the message is positive and uplifting. Work news is good to use, but more personal life news also allows others to know more about each other. Before the meeting, after you go through your agenda (*wink wink*), have people shout out some news they have in their lives. People love answering this question since good news is fun to share. Be prepared to answer for some people to get the ball rolling or in case no one responds. Doing this before a meeting will bring a better sense of joy before getting down to business.
Try a new way of presenting your message
A fantastic way of grabbing attention and participation in meetings is to change how the meetings are presented. If you use PowerPoint for your meetings, try something new. At Amazon, PowerPoints are banned from being used in team-wide discussions. Shying away from the norm spices up the mood and will attract greater attention to the general meeting. A consistent change-up also helps your colleagues look forward to the sessions more. So try your ideas! You may surprise yourself with how fun it could be.
Set goals for the next month
On the lines of communicating, set goals for what you want your workers to do next month. You may do this already but try setting these goals together as a team. Doing so will give them an idea of what is reasonable to have done and gives you an idea of what can logistically be done. Doing this will also help your team become a better "team." Again, communication is a must to create a stress-free workplace for your workers. Setting goals as a team can also help eliminate feelings of workers feeling like cogs in a machine. From this top-down approach, workers can feel more valued in a company.
Send employees a post-meeting follow-up/summary
With busy jobs come clouded and forgetful minds. Often it is easy to forget things that are discussed just moments later. Thus, it is good practice to send an email after summarizing the critical topics discussed. Doing so will remind co-workers what they need to do and give them a way to look back later in the week to stay on track. It also helps you remember key ideas discussed during the meeting.
Collect meeting feedback
Finally, ask what your peers think you could do better! Every job is different, and every system looks unique to its relative duties. Your workers have ideas, and it would be a tragedy not to hear them. They might have an idea that could improve getting the point across better.
Try these for yourself!
Meetings are a fact of life in any business. Being efficient and engaging is a huge plus for your business and your workers. So, try some of these techniques out the next time you have a meeting in the office! Turn the dread into excitement and community.