07 May Up The Awesome Factor With These 3 Tips For Valuable & Enthusiastic Meetings
When is the last time you heard someone say they wish they had more meetings to attend? Most of us consider them a necessary evil to get things done and work to find ways to avoid having them. Do they really have to be that miserable? Only if you say so. What’s possible if we make a few small tweaks that will have your team fired up for the meetings instead of dreading them?
Here are three tips to start making your meetings more valuable and fun!
MAKE THE MEETING OUTCOME CLEAR
If you’ve ever sat in a meeting wondering “Why am I here?”, then you’ll know why this is critical. Before the meeting ever starts, make sure everyone knows the outcome of the meeting. If the meeting isn’t headed to an outcome, it will likely wander aimlessly, and require another meeting to figure out what went wrong with the last meeting.
The outcome should be clearly defined. An example would be the following.
Meeting Outcome: To brainstorm potential activities for our new class. Please come with a minimum of three ideas and how each idea supports our outcome.
When people know what’s coming, they are more prepared and more engaged, which means the energy in the room is higher. The ideas will flow more freely, and usually, the meetings end quicker.
START THE MEETING WITH A ROUND OF GRATITUDE
The quickest way to raise ANY vibe is by focusing on what you are grateful for. Start every meeting with each person sharing one thing they are grateful for and why. The why is important because that’s what truly taps into the energy of being grateful. This is a great way to start getting to know more about your teammates and building trust.
If the same team continues to get together, as trust builds, you can start asking deeper questions that let the team see each other as humans. This vulnerability will lead to a stronger team and raise the level of enthusiasm.
SET GROUND AGREEMENTS
For any work team or project team, the third thing to do is to set ground agreements, which is an updated version of the old school ground rules. What are the agreements of engagement for our meetings? When everyone agrees how the game will be played, it speeds up the transaction, eliminates (or at least limits) the frustration, and everyone has a voice.
For ground agreements to work they must be agreed upon as a team and not dictated (those are ground rules) by someone in charge. Everyone should participate in making the list. If the list needs to be pared down, let the team vote for their top five. Once you have agreed on them, ask everyone for their verbal agreement. If anyone on the team chooses not to follow a ground agreement, then the group needs to be willing to hold them accountable. In this context, accountable is a very positive word because it means we all get back more quickly to being focused on our outcome. A few examples of ground agreements you may consider are as follows.
- Punctuality – all meetings will start on time and all team members agree to be in the room at the start time. If there are any exceptions that are allowed, name them now.
- No phones – all phones are turned on silent or left back at their desks. If everyone is present, the meetings will wrap a lot quicker and be more engaging.
- Let the speaker finish – each person is allowed to finish their thought before someone else begins talking.
- No problems without solutions – you all know that person who is great at telling you why something won’t work, and yet never has a better idea.
- Everyone must participate – if someone doesn’t participate the team should reconsider whether or not that person needs to be at the meeting. However, the solution is often in the silence – the quietest person in the room who will need some love and support to feel comfortable offering their opinion.
I would love to know what other Ground Agreements you set for your meetings. Send them to me at email@example.com and we will make a list to share with all of our subscribers.
If you’d like to know more about how we build High-Performance Teams at High5 Leadership, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to have a call with one of our team members. We also have an awesome website at www.high5leadership.com built by our client Anchor Wave!
PS: For additional awesome ideas to make you meetings more memorable, effective AND short, check out this Fast Company article.