5 More Tricks to Run Highly Effective Meetings
Meetings are an ideal opportunity for a group to grow and development. But too often meeting quality suffers due to poor organization, lack of focus and other problems. In fact, a recent Atlassian study found that the average employee spends 31 hours a month in unproductive meetings. That’s nearly four days a month!
We recently suggested five ways to create more engaging and purposeful meetings. Here are five more ideas:
6. Use energizers.
The most effective meetings leverage the energy of their participants, and we’ve found that a healthy dose of energy falls somewhere between droning PowerPoint lectures and a boot camp-style workout. It is just as important to energize the mind as the body. We certainly recommend getting people up out of their chairs once in a while, but the best meetings stimulate the mind. Energizers can be as simple as small group breakouts that engage people in stories about their childhood or personal interests.
7. Manage energy, not the clock.
Say you have a break scheduled for 11:00 a.m., but you look around the group at 10:15 and see yawning and people checking their cell phones. Give them a break now! Time constraints on agendas are important for planning purposes, but don’t let them rule your meeting. If a meeting has met its objectives well before the scheduled end time, there’s no use in stretching content for the sake of stretching it. People can tell when you’re just trying to fill time.
8. Include appreciative inquiry.
Take some time to explore what has gone over well in previous meetings. During the meeting, devote time to what is going right in the organization. Don’t ignore the challenges, but spend some purposeful time around successes and deciding how to duplicate them.
9. Solicit feedback.
Once attendees are emotionally engaged and comfortable sharing their real opinions, make it a point to cultivate them. Phrases like “What are you thinking that you aren’t saying?” are effective ways to gently push people toward providing authentic feedback. Some of the best ideas and biggest “ah-ha” moments in meetings come from participants’ comments. And great leaders are willing to take this feedback with an open mind, even when it is brutally honest.
10. End early.
Throw your attendees for a loop. We have been conditioned to expect meetings to run over their allotted time, especially when we’re not looking forward to being there. But what if you turned the tables? Ending a half-day session 30 minutes early or stopping an hour-long meeting after 50 minutes provides not only a welcome surprise for attendees, but will also make them rethink some of their assumptions about the company.
Now that you’ve learned all 10 tips, which will you use today?
Formed in 2004, Studiothink is a full-service marketing firm, offering clients the benefit of true strategic partnership for all forms of internal and external communications, brand management services, and culture/internal branding with a focus on employee experience and engagement. A certified FBE (Female Business Enterprise), Studiothink is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio.