Have you ever noticed how a lot of office humor focuses on the dreadfulness and pointlessness of meetings? Your meetings don’t have to feel that way. Having a team come together to brainstorm or learn together is invaluable to any organization. By extending some basic hospitality and having some clear direction before organizing a meeting, you can learn to get the most out of your time together, and enjoy a team that doesn’t roll their eyes every time a meeting request is sent.
Here are 6 easy ways to make your next meeting more fun and productive.
- CONSIDER THE TIMING OF YOUR MEETING
Is your team red-eyed and silent at 7AM? Is there a certain time of day that certain members need to constantly step out to take calls or answer loudspeaker pages? If you can, be considerate of your group’s workload and culture and plan accordingly. A late morning or early afternoon meeting that runs into lunch hour could leave your team irritable and too distracted by hunger to be productive. An early morning meeting without coffee could affect everyone’s morale.
Whatever time of day you have your meeting, plan to meet about ten minutes before starting. This will give everyone time to chat a little, use the restroom, or set up any technology they may be using during the meeting.
- GIVE REGULAR BREAKS
People are happiest and most productive when their basic needs are being met. Long meetings should have breaks at regular intervals to allow your team to stretch their legs, use the restroom, and collect their thoughts.
Announcing when breaks will be at the beginning of the meeting may minimize interruptions and allow team members to mentally prepare for meeting their needs. If your group has offsite members that might be unfamiliar with the facility, let the team know where restrooms and any amenities are located before the meeting starts.
- USE DISCRETION WHEN BRINGING FOOD
Offering snacks at meetings is commonplace at many workplaces, but poses certain concerns; people with dietary restrictions commonly report feeling left out of their office culture or pressured to eat things that they can’t or shouldn’t. If you want to bring food, make sure it’s not from the same food group every week, and don’t make a big fuss about it.
For shorter meetings that don’t encompass a meal time, consider bringing drinks instead. A mix of regular soda and diet soda in cans or bottles is a hit among most groups. Water is universally needed and appreciated by all people.
- HAVE A PLAN AND STICK TO IT
Before sending an Outlook request for a meeting, decide what it should accomplish. What is the purpose of the meeting, and how should the time be structured to accomplish its goal? Who needs to be there? Every meeting takes up a block of time that employees could be using for their own work. It is not good for morale to hold a meeting without a definitive purpose, to stray far from accomplishing its purpose, or to require the attendance of employees who do not need to be there. When you develop a reputation for only holding meetings that clearly contribute to the advancement of your organization, your group will automatically assign a higher value and priority to them.
- REMAIN UPBEAT AND POSITIVE
Respect the privacy and dignity of your group. Never discuss an individual performance issue in a group setting; these are best saved for a one-on-one meeting. Conversations about difficult subjects sometimes need to happen in meetings. These meetings should be should be solutions-oriented, not disciplinary.
Put your best foot forward in your meetings and engage the rest of your group. People feed off the energy of others around them, so make sure that you’re displaying a positive attitude when leading the group. The most fun, productive meetings are facilitated by people who exude optimism and the values of the company they’re representing, and allow the rest of the group time to speak and be engaged. If you’re having a bad week, a meeting is one of the worst places to let it show.
- AVOID ACTIVITIES THAT MAKE THE GROUP UNCOMFORTABLE
Avoid silly games or very personal activities that some members might be averse to; a lot of people feel really uncomfortable if they have to do a dance, exercise in front of others, or are put on the spot in a team-building exercise.
You can make your group feel welcome simply by extending hospitality to them. Arrive early and greet team members as they come in, and don’t forget to say ‘hello’ to anyone phoning in from a remote location.
If the group is unfamiliar with each other, an icebreaker activity or short team-building exercise might be helpful. A simple way to do this is to go around the room and when members are introducing themselves, have them answer a generic, non-personal question directed toward the whole group, such as “What is your favorite thing to do in the summer?”
About the Author:
Morris Edwards is a content writer at Companyregistrationinsingapore.com.sg – he writes different topics like “Singapore Workers to Get 2.9% Pay Raise Next Year“, “Singapore Tightens Conditions for Hiring Foreign Professionals” and all topics related to Singapore Business.