Does your team spend their time doodling on their notepads while Sir Talks-a-lot just goes on and on about his amazing idea. Your team might even be texting and sending emails during meetings, which isn’t a good sign, even if they were work related. Teams gather for a meeting for a reason, and a major part of it is listening. So, if they’re not listening to what’s being said, what’s the point?
The meeting room should be a hotbed for brainstorming creative ideas that employees would be excited to gather in and that would approach with a sense of mindfulness. However, that is not always the case. Meetings can be a waste of time if they’re not done in the right way and with the right attitude.
Leaving from a 2-hour meeting with little to no results can be extremely frustrating, not only because you didn’t get what you wanted or that a lot of time and effort was spent. But, also because pointless meetings can cause your employees to despise participating in them and deem them as boring.
So, how can you change that? How can you stop wasting time in meetings and keep your employees from dozing off? Thankfully, experts at Bayt.com are here to help answer that.
Here are some simple yet effective tips that you can try out:
- 1. Start Off with a Kick
Meetings often flop from the get-go, especially when the team has to sit and wait for everyone that struggles to come in on time. Not to mention the ones that don’t even make it at all. Others will want to start their own off topic discussions, which can make it quite difficult to get everyone on track and focused on the important stuff and forget about the unrelated topics. Punctuality is key when it comes to meetings, and you need to make sure that everyone understands that, as meetings that start off slow don’t usually fully recover.
But, the question is: how do you get your team to focus on what’s important and get on track? You can get the answer by asking even more questions. As soon as you start a meeting you’ll need to ask yourself and your team 3 questions: “what is the intention of this meeting?” “What are the main issues?” And “what matters most?”
By asking these questions you can set the narrative of the meeting and clarify what needs to be discussed, which can help conclude the meeting with affirmative results.
2. Encourage Engagement
If you constantly find yourself the only one that’s talking and sharing their ideas in meetings, then you might have a problem. Getting your employees to actively listen to you during meetings can be challenging in it itself, yet alone getting them involved to share their ideas.
The way around this is by facilitating a positive and friendly atmosphere where everyone in the meeting feels comfortable to get involved and express their points of views. But, while maintaining control of the discussion, you don’t want your employees to lead the meeting off-track. You can do this by making it as interactive as possible and showing your employees that you actually value their ideas and participation.
3. Spice Things Up
Some meetings are just flat out boring. You can’t expect to have a productive meeting when it’s just you reading out bullet points from a piece of paper or a slide show with a monotone voice. No one is going to listen to what you’re saying, especially in this day and age, where people have a very limited attention span.
If you want to keep your meetings interesting and worth attending, you’ll need to add some variety and change this up a bit. This can encourage your employees to participate and most importantly keep them from getting bored.
You should approach your meetings with some level of flexibility and be open to new ideas and suggestions from your staff. Maybe they would prefer you to use more visuals and less jargon, for example.
4. Conclude with Action-Plans
Meetings are made to clarify certain issues and topics and come up with decisions and action-plans. During a discussion, it is pivotal to end it with an action-based conclusion, even if there are many disagreements. Some ideas have to be compromised, as not all can be implemented.
And when you agree on an idea or concept, and further action-based decisions have been made, you’ll need to break it down into achievable tasks and assign appropriate people to do them with a set time limit.
To take things even further, you should also assign someone to take note of all decisions made and tasks given and form a to-do list in a place where all people involved can refer to, in order to stay on track.