Tips for Leading Effective Meetings

Our coaching team appreciates the challenge of masterminding the right mix of talent, personalities, and action items.

Fortunately, easy tweaks often go a long way to enhance comfort, participation, and awareness of nuances in a team member’s behavior.

Recently, I worked with a senior leader in financial services who felt it was his responsibility to control the agenda and results of all meetings; in fact, he considered it part of his job. He was baffled that his group was quiet, rarely initiated topics, didn’t show passion regarding action items, and only engaged in small talk after the meeting.

He asked me how he could change the situation. Our team of communication experts developed easy-to-apply key strategies to help this and other clients develop more productive teams.

We advised:

  1. Begin meetings with small talk or each person sharing an observation or personal update to develop trust and increase interpersonal communication.
  2. Develop an agenda to which team members are expected to contribute. Research indicates that 1/3 of all meetings are viewed as a waste of time. Change that!
  3. Use meetings for discussion and problem-solving rather than just providing information. One of my favorite sayings is, “Go from information to inspiration and impact.”
  4. Try an approach like “round robin” or going around the room when possible. The goal is to keep the talkers from dominating and allow quiet people to contribute more. This is essential for equalizing talking time, a key ingredient for team success.
  5. Have some fun and novelty with a bit of partying, such as lunch meetings outside the office and/or appealing surprise guests. Refreshments always help. I had a client who wanted to tighten his budget by eliminating the snacks. I told him I’d give him the 25 bucks for goodies to save all the gains we’d made in coaching.

 

Try out these suggestions, and your team meetings will be more engaging, valuable, and productive!

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