One of the most annoying parts of any business tends to be team meetings. They last for far too long, they use up valuable time, and there is an air of “fakeness” inherent to all of them. Well, at least, that’s what we have come to believe. Meetings are a valuable tool for any company, but they need to be used properly. The last thing you want is to have your people look at them in the way we described meetings at the beginning of this paragraph. So, you need to do something different, you need to make them more engaging.
Meetings allow you to organize your goals better, and to develop a sense of belonging among your team members and employees. However, if done improperly, these will just build resentment. A good meeting can help you focus, and to analyze both the good and the bed in your company better. If you want to know how to make meetings relevant again, how to make them engaging, just read on and find out.
Before you start, you should prepare properly. A big issue that can be found with meetings is that they last for far too long while accomplishing very little. You get speakers that drone on and on, you get people speaking over each other, even arguing… Essentially, a very inefficient and unproductive system. One of the ways you can regulate this is by structuring out your meetings in advance.
Namely, set up a good itinerary, and a good plan to get things done. Have a clear schedule on points you want to deal with on a specific meeting and the order in which you are to analyze them. Have a clear timeframe for which you want to do this. Furthermore, set out some time for a Q&A section, but remember to stick to the order set in your schedule. Also, keep everybody in check, maintain order. Don’t allow anybody to talk over other people, and work hard to maintain order.
Furthermore, be honest with yourself. Setting up this kind of structure in advance will show you exactly whether you even need to hold a meeting or not. .And finally, print out this schedule and hand it out before the meeting starts. Maybe even send it out by email in advance so people can review it and prepare some questions.
Create a pleasant atmosphere
Maintain an atmosphere of openness and freedom. Allow everybody to speak his or her mind, and never belittle anyone’s ideas or choices. Give a voice to every one of your employees attending the meeting. In this way, you will, first, show that you appreciate them. Indeed, your employees may think that their time is being wasted if they’re forced to attend a meeting to which they cannot contribute in any meaningful manner. This is severely demotivating and somewhat true. Let everybody’s voice be heard.
Furthermore, look at how the meeting is set up. Do you have proper coffee, made from a good machine, like from a Lavazza Bluepod, or are you serving something tasteless and stale? Offer some snacks, let some natural light in, air out the room.
Be mindful of how you present yourself at meetings
Fake positivity and energy can be noticed a mile away. Being honest in the workplace, in general, is very important, not only for meetings. So, if there are any issues to discuss, any drama, do not fake cheerfulness and act like everything is perfect and grand. If there are problems that need to be solved, the last thing you want to do is to act like they are not real, or not serious. Furthermore, false cheerfulness and acting like everybody is your friend is a breeding ground for resentment and annoyance.
On the other hand, do not be all gloom and doom about your situation. Be honest, but not pessimistic. Think about how you carry yourself. Any issue can be solved, and ruminating about the problems and issues you’re facing will only sink morale, and make you seem like you are not in control. If you want your people to appreciate meetings, and to see them as useful, you need to make them seem (and be) useful. Holding meetings that are actually pity parties for your company will not help anybody.
Meetings have acquired a bad rap. They are supposed to be a time where the company (or team) is supposed to focus, analyze their situation, and improve. Instead, it turned into obligatory bureaucratic time wasters. If you want your meetings to be engaging, you need to approach them differently. Think about how you present yourself – be positive, but honest. Plan properly, schedule out your time, and keep the meetings structured. Finally, create a positive work environment for everybody, work on letting everybody’s voice be heard and understood.
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