Let your meetings be the talk of the day
The main quality any exceptional leader should have is the ability to encourage and motivate their staff, to improve productivity and overall morale of the office. Most employees will go into the meeting with the mindset that it's only diarised to waste an hour or two of their day. The best course of action is to prove them wrong and take the chance to build relationships between yourself and your employees whilst building relationships within the team.
Lucky for you, we have taken the guess work out of this for you and broken down 7 ways to let the meeting be the conversation of the office.
1/ Start of by making the meeting feel more like a team building exercise. This way, it feels more like a mandatory team exercise, rather than a two hour staff update meeting. You can still incorporate what you wish to achieve in to your agenda. 'Purpose Mingle' is a great way to implement both. The game is simple, delegates have three minutes to walk around and share what they wish to contribute to the meeting with as many people as possible. The person who has shared the most wins. It's a great exercise that gets people talking and can be done with any set up, from theatre style to board room as it only requires space to walk around and a willing team. You can find more ideas on our favourite blog to find new ways to spark motivation in our meeting. https://www.wrike.com/blog/team-building-games/
2/ We all have that one team member that has been nominated to speak for the group, without even knowing it. However, this only hinders the meeting as its stops other employees purposes from being shared and allows everyone else to tune out and consider all of the other things they have to do that day or week. Encourage employees to come out of their shell by making the meeting feel relaxed and comfortable. This can be done by opting for a more inclusive layout (boardroom) or even hold the meeting in the lounge area or book a space with sofas. Make a point to greet everyone coming into their room and ask them something non work related. This immediately sets the tone, that although you have an agenda to get through, you also want to take the opportunity to check in with everyone. With everyone feeling relaxed, even those who would rather just listen, feel comfortable to get involved. Also, calling on some one goes down a lot better when you have made an effort to speak to them and update yourself on what's going on in their life.
3/ Although it may seem obvious, encourage group work and collaborative discussion. This can be done as easily as requesting a banquet layout. You can then ask them to discuss their views and have one nominated member to present to the rest of the group. This way delegates can gauge where other employees are at, regarding your ideas or talking points. This enables improved office relationships, accountability for work areas and sharing of other's strengths. If you feel you need more convincing, we suggest taking two minutes to read this article that lays out the advantages and disadvantages of both group and individual work. ( https://smallbiztrends.com/2016/03/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-teamwork.html ) .
4/ Ever heard of the saying 'Give Credit Where Credit Is Due'? Well your weekly, monthly or annual meeting is the perfect place to put this into practice. Try to keep the tone light and friendly. Try praising employees or teams on what you think they are doing exceptionally well at. Understandably, there will be some talking points on more of the negative side, but try to follow this up with an upside or praise. This way employees feel they are getting the correct kind of encouragement by being there and are more likely to be willing to listen to the rest of your meeting.
5/ When looking for a space to hold the meeting, look for rooms that can cater for your team and then some. Our rule is 'team + 10'. This basically means that when we are looking for availability for clients, we always try to find a space that has enough space for another 5 - 10 people. This just provides a little 'mingling space'. Try utilising a venue's breakout spaces, your team can move into another room for a coffee/ lunch break, creating a clear work and clear relax space. The two not being confused will enable productive working and comfortable relaxing.
6/ Allow the team to be in on decisions that need to be made. It can be as small or as large as you like. By allowing the team to choose aspects of their work or their work environment shows that you trust in your team. Plus, these decisions being made as a collective will reduce someone else's work load further down the road. Employees having a say in what they wish to achieve as a group motivates them to want to work harder and are more likely to exceed expectation when assigned a task relating to that.
7/ And lastly, have fun! Although meetings are stressful and require a lot of planning, that doesn't mean they can't be a fun bonding experience for yourself and the team. Include games and activities in the meeting to break up all the mundane tasks. Personally, we strive on our power points being fun. Even adding a little colour and photo to a slide manages to get people excited for the presentation.
In conclusion: Encourage , Learn and Have Fun.