Nothing zaps your spirit quite like a dull meeting that is going around in circles.
Yet, they are so common in many workplaces.
Below are seven key tips in helping keep your meetings at work effective and stimulating:
- Set group agreements
- Give everyone a say
- Have an agenda – then revisit this
- Be consistently strict on finish time
- Agree on at least 2-3 concrete actions
- Move while you meet
- Facilitate your meetings
1. Set group agreements
Before diving into the nitty gritty, agree on some fundamentals in regards to how you will work together. Clarify the finish time, how questions are to be asked, etc. It is also helpful to clarify the culture of the meeting with agreements such as respecting different viewpoints, ensure everyone has a say, one person speaking at a time, etc.
2. Give everyone a say
Ensure the group feel safe and welcome to provide input by allocating this into the agenda. Also break into pairs and/or small groups during the meeting regularly to ensure the more shy people are still having their voices heard.
3. Have an agenda – then revisit this
So the ten items to be covered have been listed in the agenda in a certain order. This does not have to be the order they are covered in. Do a quick straw poll at the start of the meeting on “What do we definitely need to cover today as a top priority?” Start the meeting based on this priority consensus to ensure the essential stuff is covered.
4. Be consistently strict on finish time
So you only got through 6 of the 10 items that were planned. Luckily you prioritized these items as higher priorities than the others (as per tip 3) so you have covered what you need to. Also the items covered have clear actions as per the next tip…
5. Agree on at least 2-3 concrete actions
A consistent frustration with meetings is that there is lots of talk and not necessarily a lot of clear actions coming out of it. As a general rule most would agree that you are better to have covered 2 items and agreed on clear actions than “covered” 5 and simply discussed the issues around them.
6. Move while you meet
If you sit most of the day in your role – then why continue to sit while you have a meeting? We know it’s bad for our health to sit for long periods – but sometimes meetings are in sitting simply out of habit. Try and shift your team to a new culture of standing and / or walking in meetings. Our blogs have consistently referred to the benefits of this.
7. Facilitate your meetings
For meetings where there is decision making and/or potentially going to be challenging dynamics within the group it’s useful to have a “Facilitator”. Facilitation skills are worth their weight in gold.
For a deep delve into the art of Group Facilitation consider some training through Groupwork Institute who set the gold standard in this field. Visit HERE for more.
For a lighter delve, PHW Group run practical training programs in this area including a public course coming up soon focused on health professionals – details here.