Meetings are such a common cause of complaint, such a timewaster, and such an easy thing to improve upon, yet people seem to accept this drain on their working world without actually doing anything to improve matters.
I love collaboration, love talking and involving people, it’s just that I believe that long drawn out, flabby meetings so often get in the way of genuine engagement. If you want to make your team impressed with your respect for their worth, here’s some meeting tips:
- Have 5 tiny catch ups if you can rather than 1 mammoth meeting if people are only needed for a specific section of it (think like a Venn diagram, join up the people who genuinely need to overlap)
- Circulate the meeting purpose (n.b. not what it’s about, but what it hopes to achieve) with the invite
- Give people the option to ask questions and prepare specific items before the meeting
- Give people a real opportunity to decline the invite if they don’t think they have anything to contribute
- Restate the purpose at the start of the meeting and ask if everyone knows why they are there. If they don’t know – tell them, or encourage them to go spend their time more wisely
- Thank people for coming – bring doughnuts, make coffee, take them somewhere interesting for the meeting, do something which tells them you value them
- Start on time
- Ask people for feedback on the meeting – could its objective have been met in a better way?
- Send notes/minutes/photos/whiteboard pics whatever as soon as possible after the meeting and make it clear what the next actions are
- Do your next actions and check progress on others before the next meeting
You will find that people start to take your meetings much more seriously, and respect that you value their input and time. Now you’ve read about it, just do it – and let me know how you get on : )