Thousands of work meetings happen every day in various organisations and businesses worldwide. Meetings are essential for daily business operations. It’s where most critical business discussions take place. However, poorly managed work meetings could weaken your company’s productivity.
If people often arrive late for your work meetings, would often stare at their smartphones for the entire duration, and fail to take down notes, then you need to do something to address this. Here are five ways to improve your business meetings.
- Start with a Fun Check In and Check Out
The best way to start your meeting is with a fun check-in and check-out, a process that helps to engage participants. Checking in encourages each member to participate and be seen and heard. It emphasises employee presence, focus, and commitment and is fundamental to setting the context and tone of the meeting.
Managers know the importance of fostering collaboration, connection, and trust among team members. Work meetings are a great chance for employees to foster these human connections. Unfortunately, due to busy work schedules, many would skip the process of checking in and will jump right into the agenda points. Checking in refers to the intentional practice of checking every member before the meeting starts. It should be a significant aspect of every business meeting, balancing human connection and professional priorities.
A meeting check-in is an opportunity to touch base with everyone before the meeting starts. There are various ways you can check-in. You can implement mindful minutes, where everyone will pause for a few deep breaths before you start. Another way is to ask funny questions that can help build rapport among team members.
- Move Decision Making from Consensus to Consent
Coming up with perfect decisions is not possible. Some of the world’s best organisations recognise that one leader cannot have all the answers. That is why they must tap into collective ideas to come up with a decision that can benefit the company the most. However, establishing consensus can be time-consuming and could lead to mediocre solutions.
The best way to encourage a team to support a decision is to move from consensus to consent. Instead of aiming for everyone to agree, ensure that no one will object to the decision. Most people approach decision-making through a dual approach – consensus and autocratic. Consensus is when everyone agrees on a decision, while autocracy is when one person has the power to impose decisions for everyone.
Consent aims to break the black-and-white approach by encouraging participation among team members. Consensus means everyone will conform to the decision, while consent means people will agree to move forward even if the solution is not something they agree on. Although the practice is not new in the corporate world, many organisations have long been using this for centuries.
- Elect a Facilitator
Consider electing a facilitator who will work with the team to bring out the best results for everyone. The facilitator will also coordinate with the team and help individuals to achieve their career goals. They also make sure that the team will feel pumped and excited about their tasks and responsibilities.
The meeting facilitator has various responsibilities to play. Aside from writing the agenda for the meeting and ensuring everyone is aware of it, they also guide participants to ensure everyone stays on track. The facilitator also helps to ensure that the discussion is relevant to the topic. Above all, they will ensure that at the end of the meeting, everyone will be on the same page and aware of the next steps.
The biggest advantage to electing a meeting facilitator is that the members can focus on the more important things, such as the content of the meeting. The ultimate goal of the facilitator is to bring out the best in each participant by providing proper structure, flow, and guidance. Facilitators also encourage and listen to team members.
- Take the Meeting Outside
Outdoor meetings are all the rage now. It’s a fun and exciting way to connect with the team and bring out the best among them. More importantly, it helps motivate employees since it indicates that you value their contributions and are committed to helping the organisation achieve success.
There are health benefits to bringing your meeting outdoors. In fact, medical professionals recommend getting out in nature as it can do wonders for mental and physical well-being. Spending time outside can help improve mood and reduce stressful emotions, which helps improve productivity. Taking your team outdoors is a fun way to strengthen your bond instead of crowding in a conference room. In addition, the fresh air and relaxing atmosphere can help to foster creativity among team members, allowing for a more productive meeting.
When organising a meeting outdoors, make sure it’s in a place where everyone will feel comfortable. There should be a space for participants to sit. If possible, look for an outdoor space with Wi-Fi access for when you need to use the internet to check something on the computer.
- Head to a Business Meetings event
Some business leaders thought that sending their team to business events is a waste of time and money. But on the contrary, everyone can benefit from conferences. Attendees will have an expanded business network and go home with viable ideas to help the organisation achieve its goals.
When you take your team to business events, they can benefit from the relationship-building experience and expand their professional network. Since it’s outside the office setting, interactions will be more natural, allowing your team to get to know each other even more and foster good relationships. Aside from travelling together, you will engage with speakers and other industry leaders, which helps them to grow professionally.
One of the events to take your team to is the IBTM World, a global business event in Barcelona for the meeting and events industry. It’s the perfect venue to gather ideas and learn how to maximise business opportunities. The event offers the chance to meet with industry experts and some of the world’s most influential event planners.