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How to improve the quality of your meetings

Needhi Gandhi
24th Apr 2017
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As an executive, you may wonder why so many meetings do not seem to provide very productive outcomes. Could it be that your way of handling the group and the agenda is rather tedious and wearisome? If so, here are five recommendations to enhance the quality of your meetings.

Try a new setting

You do not really need to hold meetings within the confined walls of a boring boardroom all the time. For instance, attendees will enjoy being in tune with Mother Nature, when the weather is pleasant. Avoid a strict dress code too. Eric Schmidt, the Executive Chairperson of Google’s parent, Alphabet Inc., suggests adhering to strict timeframes for beginning and ending the meeting, as well as summarising the discussion.

Image : shutterstock

Image : shutterstock

Encourage them to Socialise

Request the attendees to come ten minutes early. They may use this time to share stories about pets, funny incidents, etc. These interactions make attendees more relaxed, receptive, and responsive. According to Neal Hartman, who gives lectures on managerial communication at MIT Sloan School of Management, it would be good to ban iPads, BlackBerry phones, etc. at meetings.

Let the creative juices flow

Creative ‘How do we…’ exercises are great for resolving company issues. Place these problems in pictures or writings on the walls. As soon as your attendees enter, hand over a ‘sticky’ notepad to each one. They must go round the room, examining the scenarios lining the walls. Pen their innovative solutions on paper and attach them to the respective problems. John C Maxwell, author of the book How Successful People Think, says, “Creativity is being able to see what everybody else has seen and think what nobody else has thought so that you can do what nobody else has done.”

Share a new skill

Set some time aside during the last meeting of the month to introduce a new skill. This could be confidence building, sealing a deal, chairing a meeting, making a report, summarising, etc. After you finish teaching it, divide the large group into smaller groups. Each group should work out and perform a role-play related to the new skill.

Let everyone stand

It is not necessary to sit during a short meeting. Remove every single chair from the room. You will be amased to discover how much more energetic the attendees become! Also encourage them to share insights and ask questions.

Go out of your way to make each meeting memorable. The attendees are bound to become more responsible and productive in their behavior. They will be eager to learn from and follow an inspiring leader.

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