Are you tired of holding long boring meetings with your team? Would you like to have office meetings with more engagement from team members?
According to several surveys, managers and employees alike consider office meetings boring and time-consuming.
Meetings are meant to enhance efficiency, boost productivity, and ensure everyone understand the goals and business objectives. Most meetings turn out to be long, boring, and don’t fully engage your team.
However, meetings do not have to be long and boring they can be engaging, highly productive, and to-the-point. But to achieve this, you need to know how to shake things up.
Here are 7 effective tips to stop boring your team at meetings:
1. Start on time
There are myriads of reasons for starting meetings late, but it is something that happens too often. Delayed meetings, especially those earmarked for early in the day, can result in a cascading effect.
This can have a significant impact on each team member’s schedule for the rest of the day.
Therefore, respect the rest of your team by starting your weekly meetings on time.
2. Be prepared
The key to highly successful and exciting meetings is in preparation. Before the meeting kicks off in earnest, make sure all participants have access to the agenda.
The agenda of the meeting should include the following:
- The list of topics to be discussed or covered
- Brief descriptions of the meeting’s goals or objectives
- The individual that will address each itemized topic
- The location and time of the meeting
- Additional background information that participants or team members need to know about the subject.
The next most important thing is to follow the agenda.
3. Connect with everyone in the room
Most meetings start with the team leader or manager reading the agenda while other team members tilt their heads down, some detached from what is being shared.
But meetings are designed for face-to-face discussions and not just for sharing data or relevant information.
You can even share the crucial data with your team in advance – i.e. before the meeting commences.
This makes everyone aware of it and fully prepared to discuss the issue in the meetings.
This will connect every member of the team so they can collectively be brainstorming. This will also save a lot of time while ensuring all team members are on the same page.
4. Take notes collaboratively
When every attendee of the meeting takes their own notes, it could propose issues because each participant may hear different things.
You should take notes collaboratively, instead, using Google Docs, Evernote, or any other shared document editing platform.
This ensures that every member of the team receives the same information.
This is incredibly beneficial for attendees who speak different languages. When your team members are able to read what was discussed in the meeting it will align with what they thought they heard.
Moreover, using shared document editing platforms also gives absent team members the opportunity to go through the minutes of the meeting.
This will also allow the team members to review notes from previous meetings.
5. Add some fun
Okay, most meetings are not fun, which is why they are boring in the first place. But have you ever imagined looking forward to an official meeting because they were fun?
Well, it is possible to add some excitement and fun to your meetings by engaging in some fun team meeting activities.
For instance, you can introduce a game or puzzle in a meeting. This will serve as a surprise, and every member of the team will always look forward to your meetings.
Introduce team members to games like trading cards, brainwriting, design the box, the anti-problem, icebreaker, etc. All of these will always bring tangible results out of otherwise boring meetings.
You can even ask someone to sponsor engaging material or share their success story. You can also have weekly/monthly team awards during your meetings.
These are just a few team meeting activity concepts or ideas that will quickly break up the monotony and engage every team member.
6. Make the meetings actionable
Let’s say every single strategy for the next project has been discussed with the team. So, what is next? At the end of every official meeting, allow the team members to state their new objectives briefly.
This will be a recap to them and will also inform you of the information they have retained. You can also ask questions like:
‘What new tactics did you learn in this meeting?’
‘What are the tasks that must be completed by next week?’ etc.
It is not uncommon to push Q&A sessions to the end of every meeting. But the truth is that it is also as important as the rest of the meeting.
Setting up concrete action plans during the meeting but leaving follow-up questions unanswered or unattended to is an excellent recipe for disaster.
When you end your meetings with simple questions like these, it ensures every member knows their respective responsibilities as well as timelines. And this will also help immensely with building a proactive and enthusiastic team.
7. Encourage active participation
A major reason why team members don’t participate actively in meetings is that they are usually unaware of the meetings’ primary purpose.
But if you take the step mentioned earlier – i.e. sharing data or the agenda of the meeting in advance – no team member will be in the dark.
This will promote active participation in the meeting and direct involvement in the decision-making process.
You can even allow every team member to lead the discussion so that they can put forward their thoughts or points.
Encouragement to participate in meetings will make your team excited and always looking forward to such meetings.
Meetings should not be boring, especially since the goal of most meetings is to help the organization reach its goals. But when participants are bored, more than half of what is discussed is not even comprehended.
The meeting’s goal may eventually be thwarted if no appreciable record of success emanates from the meeting.
The 7 effective tips shared here should help break up the dreariness associated with meetings.
Follow these steps, and you will be pleasantly surprised at how your team will always look forward to such meetings.
When teams bond better, there will always be positive outcomes for the meeting as well as the business.
Therefore, say ‘No!’ to dreary meetings and ‘Yes!’ to fun-filled and actionable ones!