We’ve all sat through a bad meeting. You know: The kind that seems to last forever, with a lot of words being spoken but no decisions being made and no action steps taken. Meetings like that are pretty obviously a waste of time—and that’s equally frustrating for leaders and employees, all of whom have things they’d rather be doing.
But there’s another problem with bad meetings: If all your meetings are unengaging, you’ll basically condition your team to arrive at each new meeting already expecting it to be a dreadful bore. You’ll have lost them before the meeting even begins.
So what can you do? Is it possible to salvage your meetings? Absolutely it is. You’ve just got to be intentional in making each meeting engaging.
How to Make Your Meetings More Engaging
A few basic ways to do that include:
- Have a “hook” at the beginning of each meeting. Tell a funny story, show an entertaining YouTube clip, or simply take a show-of-hands poll—anything to get people engaged right from the start.
- Lead your meetings with a clear definition of the meeting objectives—what you hope to accomplish and what all participants can expect to learn.
- Allow emotions into your meeting. Ask people how they’ve been feeling about work since your last meeting. Take a temperature check of office morale.
- Have a strong visual component to your meeting. In particular, have a way to showcase the brainstorming that’s happening and the thought that’s at work. A marker board, pin-up board, or even a sticker voting system can be useful here.
- Build positivity into your meeting. Share success stories that have happened since the last meeting. Consider implementing a rule that the team must say three positive things about an idea before anyone is allowed to criticize or to shoot it down.
- Make your meeting more active. Ditch the chairs from your meeting space, and instead encourage your meeting participants to stand together in a huddle—a great way to engage their bodies and, hopefully, their minds!
Engaging meetings don’t just happen: They’re planned and executed with intention.
Dr. Rick Goodman CSP is a thought leader in the world of leadership and is known as one of the most sought after team building experts in the United States and internationally.
He is famous for helping organizations, corporations, and individuals with systems and strategies that produce increased profits and productivity without having the challenges of micro managing the process. Some of Dr. Rick’s clients include AT&T, Boeing, Cavium Networks, Heineken, IBM, and Hewlett Packard.