5 Secrets of Leading Team Meetings in The Most Productive Way
Have you ever sat in a meeting and saw your subordinates staring blankly during a team meeting? If that is the case, maybe they were not attentive because of how the meeting was led and conducted.
How can this be improved? The most important key is to work smart, not hard, and try to put yourself in their shoes. To help you see how this can be done practically, here are five secrets of leading team meetings in the most productive way.
1. Infuse positive vibes to the meeting
Once everyone is huddled around the table, all intense and worried about how the meeting will go, enter your boardroom with a different energy. If the dress code is formal wear, go inside, take off the suit jacket and drape it around a chair, and then fold the sleeves. That simple act alone will make the entire mood change and less intense.
There are different ways that this can be done apart from the above-mentioned tip, including having a positive posture, a smile, and other body language markers.
Other team leaders, supervisors, managers, and executives find other innovative ways, such as opening up the meeting with a joke. When appropriate, you can play a short quiz or game that revolves around the task at hand.
In many cases, employees might be inattentive because of thinking of their own worries or where living conditions. Try to fill their space solely with positive vibes to get peak attentiveness for the meeting to succeed.
Sarah Hurst, the training manager, says that when a meeting is started in a serious and intense tone, attendees might be bored and lose focus easily. Whereas, making the mood lighter will make attendees keen on hearing what is next and thus have maximum participation.
2. Draft the agenda in an inquisitive manner
Another way to make a meeting productive is by grabbing the attendees’ attention before it even begins. When drafting the agenda, do not follow the standard formatting and structure of writing statements to introduce points. Instead, draft your agenda using questions to make all invited interested to hear what will be said.
That is contrary to writing statements leading to invitees jumping to conclusions by presuming what will be discussed.
Make it different and stand out for every meeting. Throw all of the customary templates out the window and carve a new path. Make it exciting and personalized for each meeting you are going to lead.
When all invitees walk in the room, they will have a glimpse idea of what is to be discussed but using inquisitive agendas spark interest. Maintain that same tone when leading the meeting and show excitement and continue fostering inquisitiveness.
A leading corporate trainer at twiftnews suggests that doing so will make your meetings much more productive because all in attendance will contribute. Do not wait until the meeting has started to incite this inquisitive mindset but begin when you are drafting the agenda. It will also make the meeting seem less intense but more lighthearted, which might reach the expectations you had in mind.
3. Rotate meeting leader/chairman
Having one meeting leader or chairman at all meetings can make them seem redundant and boring. For people to be excited, they need different personalities and voices, so try and get other qualified personnel to lead team meetings.
That applies mostly to meetings held at regular intervals such as weekly, fortnightly, or monthly. You can identify energetic team members who can fill this role well and assign them the task.
Ask them to make it exciting and a little less routine-like but they should personalize it every time. Asking other team members can also help uncover other points to be added on the agenda because of different perspectives. Above that, rotating meeting leaders can help pass on valuable leadership skills to other personnel.
That might make them have the potential for more senior roles whenever the perfect opportunity arises. You can also learn from other meeting leaders on how to make meetings much more fruitful and productive.
Employees will also escape feelings of perceiving their work as routine and something not exciting. It may seem like an inefficient strategy but there are many benefits to rotating chairmen to other people within that particular team.
4. Use the “two-pizza” rule
Large meetings with all the people in a large team or department and sometimes the company as a whole may not be that productive.
There are many people with different opinions and putting them all in one room will make the meeting take longer with nothing to show for it. Instead of doing so, use the “two-pizza” rule used by one of the most successful CEOs in the world, Jeff Bezos.
It is based on the principles of dividing a meeting and having it with one team and then another one at a later date. The “two-pizza” rule makes participants engage to a greater extent hence making the meeting more productive.
You do not have to change the agenda, but only schedule these meetings at two different dates. Afterward, meet with key personnel to discuss all suggestions and points raised at each meeting and implement the best ones.
That will both save time and improve participation amongst those in attendance. Also, large meetings will only make shier individuals hide behind other colleagues and that might block brilliant and innovative suggestions. Henceforth, do not be afraid to slice the pizza to get maximum participation and productivity from each meeting while saving time.
5. Connect with each individual in the room
Another benefit of having smaller meetings is connecting with each individual in the room. Larger meetings may not offer this opportunity and thus, some employees might be absent-minded without you knowing it.
Do not stick your head into the agenda and only raise it when making a presentation or conveying a point. Instead, be there in the moment and see if anyone does not share the same positive vibes.
You will be more prone to identifying attendees that are not focused or attentive when looking at each individual in the eyes. If it is respectful to do so, raise your head, look at everyone, and make eye contact to connect with them.
When someone seems absent-minded, ask them a simple question that won’t draw attention or make them feel attacked. Be friendly and smile when addressing each individual.
Thank each one for their input and do not openly criticize ideas suggested by the attendees. Walk around the room, pat a fellow colleague on the back when sharing great ideas. Not standing in one place at a meeting will also increase the alertness of other attendees.
When your voice is right behind them, they might be more attentive if their minds started wandering. There are more ways you can do this, try to find the most efficient ones and implement them, and this will depend on popular local culture.
These tactics have been found to be very effective and a lot of executives and team leaders vouch for them. It is all about creating positive vibes and making the meeting seem less-routine but more fun and engaging to everyone. Do not forget to make your agendas fun and inquisitive to grab the attention of attendees well before the meeting.
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About the author
Donna James is a high skilled freelance essay writer and proofreader from Michigan, United States who currently works on various projects focused on the IT&C industry apart from her work. She is interested in everyday development and writes blog posts on various topics, such as marketing and technology.