productive meetings

Five Simple Ways To Hold More Productive Meetings

August 20, 2018Janey DaviesGeneral Tips

Do you want to know how to have more productive meetings?

Does your heart sink when your boss or co-worker tells you that there is going to be a meeting this week? You are certainly not alone. We have all experienced that feeling of being trapped in a stuffy boardroom where nothing interesting is going on. But why do we accept this so readily? Meetings don’t have to be boring, they are supposed to bring colleagues together and encourage creativity, new ideas and strategies. The thing is, a boring meeting is hardly likely to provide inspiration, is it? So what can managers and team leaders do to hold more productive meetings?

If you want your meetings to be less boring and snoring then have a look at our five simple ways to hold more productive meetings:

1. Change the venue for your meeting

Our environments affect us without us even knowing. A claustrophobic meeting room can make us feel trapped and long for space and natural light. Switch it up a little by closing the boardroom doors and getting your staff outside of the office. If the weather is good you can trot along to your local park, or why not organise a brunch meeting in the bistro that everyone loves? You’ll be able to hold much more productive meetings in a completely new environment.

2. Know what you want to achieve from the meeting

Getting colleagues to take time off to attend a meeting when you are not sure of the agenda is a complete waste of time, for everyone, not just them. Don’t just hold meetings every month or week because that is what you always do in your firm. Make sure you have a proper reason for calling it. People don’t like to have their valuable hours wasted, especially if they are busy. So know your agenda, be clear on what you want to achieve and always set time limits.

3. Change the structure of the meeting

If you tend to follow a certain script or style when it comes to hosting meetings why not change the format a little? Instead of opening with sales figures, why not see if anyone has any ideas for better productivity? If you always leave the most difficult topic until last, put it at the start of the meeting to get it out of the way and allow people to concentrate on the nicer aspects to round up things at the end.

4. Bring in some innovative tech

Fed up with flip boards and folders? Can you sense your colleagues dropping off as you push papers around on the meeting table? We use all AI in our everyday lives so why are we so opposed to it when it comes to working? Why not set up a video screen and show relevant content or FaceTime or Skype with other companies? Get your attendees to ask Siri or Google questions and see who can come up with the best suggestions? You don’t have to go overboard but just introduce some tech to mix it up a bit.

5. Watch body language

How can you tell if your colleagues are engaged and interested in what you are saying? Studying their body language throughout the meeting can pinpoint dips and lows where you need to up your game. Not only that but it can also show you when you have their full attention.

Negative body language signs:

  • Crossed arms
  • Legs pointing towards to door
  • Stifled yawns
  • Staring into space
  • Resting their head on their hands
  • Foot tapping
  • Drumming fingers

Positive body language signs:

  • Mirroring the same body language as you
  • Good eye contact
  • Nodding and smiling
  • Arms open
  • Reaching and leaning towards you
  • Touching you on the arm or back

To conclude

Sticking to the same old pattern does not inspire creativity or new ideas. Have a think about how big tech companies such as Google or Apple handle meetings. Steve Jobs was renowned for throwing people out of meetings if they did not have a good reason to be there. Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, always keeps an empty chair in his boardroom to remind workers of the customer and that keeping the clients happy was their main aim. Using strategies like these will make sure that you only ever hold productive meetings.