3 Tips to Make Your Next Team Meeting Rock
Boring… useless… waste of time… uninspiring…circus….
These are words used by most employees to describe the team meetings they have to sit through. Notice I said HAVE to. They feel like the meetings don’t apply to them for the most part, have little value for them, and in general are worthless. Go ahead. Send a survey out and ask for anonymous feedback that is real. Tell them you don’t want a “smile sheet”, but you want true opinions. Many of you will be disappointed by the results. Meetings are one the most disliked portions of team members’ jobs. How do you fix that? Here are a few tips:
Be a time vigilante.
I have said this thousands of times. Start and end ON TIME. Let everyone plan their day based on a set time for the meetings. Use an agenda and timer during the meeting to track topics and be sure everything is covered. If topics go over the allotted time, set a new time to cover it unless it is an absolute emergency topic (and there are few of these). As you move through the agenda, don’t let anyone “hijack” your meeting. People with their own agendas will constantly try and move the discussion to where they want to be. This meeting is about everyone, not just one.
Schedule people to be in the meeting based on topic.
If they don’t need to be there, allow them to leave the room. With our mobile offices (smart phones, laptops, tablets), people can get a little work done from the hallway or lobby outside the meeting and not disturb the rest of the meeting participants that need to actually listen to that section. It allows everyone to be more focused and efficient when they need to be instead of constantly looking in their lap at the glow of the smart phone.
Be unorthodox from time to time.
Hold a meeting in a different place than usual. If it is a beautiful day, go to a park (many have wifi). Go shop a competitor. Do something to shake things up. Start a meeting by playing charades for the first 15 minutes to get the juices flowing and have people let down their guards a little. Get a new perspective on the meeting by having another person run it. Change seats in the meeting so that no one sits in the same spot every time, by the same people. New things will cause the brain to come up with new ideas. Innovation and creativity are stagnant when the same things happen every time.
There are many, many more ideas out there for juicing up a meeting. Try some. People should leave a meeting feeling like they are valued, listened to, and energized. Watch the players of football teams run onto the field at the start of a game after the leaders give their last minute talks. They are fired up and ready to win. How does your team look after your pep talk?