Nothing has quite the power to suck the energy out of a normally-productive workday than a long and boring meeting.
Aside from sapping the available time you have to complete your normal work, meetings can also be a drain on mental acuity that lasts far beyond its close. All in all, meetings need to be carefully planned and executed for them to tip the balance to constructiveness rather than liability.
Simple steps can be followed to ensure that all of your meetings fulfill their intended purpose, without becoming something to dread by the employees of your company or specific department. Simple to implement, these steps can easily turn your regular meetings into the wellsprings of productivity they are meant to be.
#Organization Is Key
Perhaps the greatest contributing factor to a boring and unproductive meeting is a marked lack of organization. Attempting to conduct a meaningful discourse with your employees without a clear plan of action usually results in chaos, with each individual vying mightily for attention to their own specific problem or concern. As such, a brief of what the meeting will entail, printed out and handed out to its participants before the meeting begins, can ensure that everyone stays on topic and what you want to accomplish is achieved.
Keep meetings small, generally an audience of around five to six people is optimal for ensuring there are not too many different opinions and approaches bogging things down. Select one employee to be the meeting’s leader, someone capable of keeping things on track, as well as trusted and respected by their peers. Be sure to keep meetings as device free as possible, as random texts or calls can keep things going for far longer than they should.
Having a clear stop and start time for the meeting is key to ensuring the meeting lasts as long as it should. Imagine a train schedule, where if the traveler is not present at the exact time of the departure, the chance is missed. These clear times can give employees the surety of knowing how long they will be occupied, and prevents digressing to unrelated topics.
#Spice Things Up!
Understanding that your employees are people, and, as such, may need a little flair to keep their attention fixated during a mandatory meeting can spell the difference between a complete waste of time and one rife with creative solutions and ideas.
Go With a Theme
A specific theme can easily spice things up and provide a fun atmosphere in which to brainstorm. If you work with sports enthusiasts, dress in a jersey and bring a football, tossing it to different attendees as their input is needed. You can even hand out mini balls at the end of the meeting, with related words printed on it to keep things fresh. The sky’s the limit when it comes to the many creative approaches you can make.
Sounds For Success
A great way to set the tone of a meeting is appropriate music, soft for periods of contemplation, and more lively music for brainstorming sessions. Music aside, different sounds like the cheering of a crowd or a laugh track can make sure that those in attendance are kept alert and engaged in what is being discussed.
Creating a meeting that not only accomplishes all action points associated with it but also leaves the attendees actually wanting to linger, is all about understanding your employees and what it takes to motivate them.
Whether it is a fully-fleshed theme, or just moving it out of doors into the fresh air, a successful meeting is achievable no matter what your work settings may look like.