Have you ever attended a boring business meeting? The kind of ineffective, counterproductive, poorly managed affair where you found yourself praying for the end? Unfortunately, such meetings are a common issue in many companies, but don’t worry. We’ll let you in on a few tips and tricks for enhancing meetings and encouraging your team to communicate, collaborate, and establish clear goals.
Is the meeting really necessary?
Consider whether you really need to have the meeting in the first place. Who really needs to attend? Do you really need this input? Maybe you could make some calls or write a few emails instead? Or maybe a quick stand up meeting would be enough? Those can be quite effective as well.
… You don’t start a well-organised meeting by telling everyone what the meeting is about. Everyone should already know the topic before they even make an appearance. It is essential for you to provide your audience with an agenda – a list of topics, reports, statistics, problems to solve – whatever you’re going to discuss with them. This gives them the opportunity to come prepared, aware and engaged. As a result of that, some of your precious time might be saved almost automatically.
This will also help further establish your position as the leader. Of course, this can’t be merely an impression, as you do have to be ready with ideas. Don’t improvise. The more you offer, the more you get, and the better results you can expect.
It is also crucial to start and finish your presentation on time.
Punctuality is motivating and boosts awareness. Always. Don’t be late, and don’t wait for latecomers – that not professional. Again – time is precious, time is money. There’s too much work to be done. Don’t stretch out your meeting more than you absolutely have to. Stick to the plan, so the people will know you have everything thought through.
Remember to be focused at all times. Try to disregard all distractions – open window noises, smartphones, laptops etc. – and ask your audience to do the same. Keep track of the agenda. Be as productive as possible with the time you have. Make your meetings matter, turn them into valued and respected events.
If your goal is to develop new strategies or to solve a problem – let the people speak. Consider putting your authority and position aside. Be a partner in a discussion. Ask questions. Brainstorm and let everyone express themselves. Start a symmetric dialogue. Write ideas down on a whiteboard, so everyone can see them, or use digital solutions and share concepts on a big screen. Collaborate.
Remember to leave some time to establish further steps and as plan for future action. The trick here is to make sure that when you finish your meeting everybody knows what to do, how to do it, and when. Give everyone a mission, a role. Define the expected outcome. Stay positive and share your good energy. You all need to feel like a single machine. After all, isn’t that the key to success of every company?
Don’t forget to always thank your audience, support them and praise them for their commitment. Don’t criticize. Try to boost morale and make everyone feel significant. That’s what you undoubtedly need to accomplish your goal. That’s not that hard, is it?