Meetings are a necessary part of workplace culture and if you’re anything like me, you love a well-run meeting.
There’s something about coming together with a group of people to discuss a common goal that drives the group forward.
Time is well spent, energy is high – and there is an overall feeling that “we” have advanced our agenda.
On the other hand, a poorly run meeting consumes time and drains energy.
We’ve all been there. You’re in a meeting and the speaker has drifted off topic.
You can’t help but doodle, play with your phone or perhaps you even zone out completely.
The average person spends 31 hours each month in meetings and 71% of attendees considered them to be unproductive.
An energy leak is anything that saps the meeting’s momentum and makes it harder to focus and get to the desired outcome.
An energy leak can be a big thing, like letting the discussion get sidetracked, or a small thing, like not starting or ending on time.
The virtual world over the last few years has even branded it Zoom Fatigue but whether we are virtual or in-person, poorly run meetings can lack the buzz that keeps people going.
So, if you want to run upbeat and engaged meetings, make sure you’re not inadvertently draining the energy of others and instead are keeping things lively.
Here are 5 strategies that can help.
1. Make sure everyone knows why they’re there
Before the meeting, in addition to sharing the agenda, consider sending out 2-3 thought-provoking questions to get the juices flowing. This helps people mentally prepare for the meeting and ensures they come to the table with insights or ideas.
2. Be enthusiastic
If you are excited about the topic, it’s likely others will be excited, too. Lead by example and show up confident and energized. Find the balance between sharing statistics and telling stories to reach logical left-brain thinkers as well as right-brain creatives.
3. Encourage participation
Leading a meeting can be overwhelming when all eyes are on you. Decide whether being the “sage on the stage” (using your expertise to share knowledge) or the “guide on the side,” (using your skills to engage attendees in first-hand learning through experiences) is best for the topic and message you are sharing. Experiment with using a variety of communication and collaboration formats that might be unexpected to keep attendees involved.
4. Keep it short and sweet
No one wants to sit through a lengthy, drawn-out meeting, so make sure yours is laser-focused and efficient. If possible, set a time limit and stick to it. People will appreciate your respect for their time.
5. End on a high note
Whatever the tone of the meeting is, it’s the final moments (and how you tie things up in a bow) that will continue to linger beyond the meeting.
When leading a team, it’s important to make sure meetings are as productive as possible. That means plugging any leaks that can lead to wasted time, energy and decreased productivity.