6 ways to engage your team during meetings

By August 26, 2019client

It’s no surprise that in most company meetings, people bring in unrelated work, produce high school doodles, catch up on much-needed sleep or scroll through their emails. It is estimated that Australians waste $23 billion on unproductive meetings annually, with Managers and Executives spending up to 20 hours of their working week in meetings.

Meetings can be extremely beneficial – when done right. Humans by our very nature love to connect. Meetings provide the opportunity for people to come together, share news, and discuss problems they are facing and attain suggested solutions from others in the meeting. But if you are feeling frustrated and fatigued after your meetings then it is time for a change.

If you, the team leader, find meetings boring, then you can guarantee your team will also find them boring and worse, unproductive.

Here are tips to not only host a great meeting but achieve maximum value out of each one.


Change the structure or otherwise cancel it

“This meeting should have been an email.” Have you ever heard this from a disgruntled team member as they shuffle out of the boardroom? Then maybe your meetings are not delivering the impact that you are hoping for.

Don’t hold meetings just for the sake of having it or if there is no agenda. The meeting may have outlived its purpose and y is no longer needed. Or perhaps what need is a change of structure, if not cancel it. A meeting with no structure or purpose is a complete waste of everyone’s time.


Share the responsibility

As the leader, you are responsible for your meetings to be compelling and to achieve set outcomes. However, just because you are the leader, does not mean you have to facilitate all of the meetings.

Rotating meeting roles keeps people engaged, shifts responsibility and shares the load.

Just as we can routinely buy the same groceries week in and week out at the supermarket, meeting roles can also get stagnant. Rotating the meeting roles and responsibilities amongst team members can shift a meeting from being an unproductive waste of time into a dynamic, vibrant meeting that engages the team resulting in stronger relationships.

Shifting roles allows individual team members to develop new skills and feel personally accountable for the success of the meeting. It requires attendees to take ownership of the meeting and feel empowered to challenge the status quo about how they are run, possibly leading to more compelling and efficient meetings in the long run.


Set a tone for the meeting

Like everything that happens in the workplace, meetings are most readily absorbed when they are directly linked to the company’s strategic objectives and values. As the team leader be on time, be prepared and actively participate in the meeting. If you demonstrate a keen, active interest in the meeting, team members will follow and strive to tie them into key objectives and values.


Set an agenda

How many times have you decided that the best way to address an issue is to have a meeting? You send an invite, organise coffees and the majority show up and sit at the table, and in the majority of cases are wondering why they are in the room. The underlying notion is that simply by virtue of holding a meeting the answer will be arrived at.

Next time before you send out a meeting request, pause and consider ‘What is the desired outcome from this meeting?”. With the intended outcome as a starting point, you can prepare specific questions that need to be discussed during the meeting, with the intention being to develop a plan to achieve the outcome.

Put the agenda, outcome and any specific questions that need to be answered in the invite so that attendees understand the purpose before arriving at the meeting and can consider their thoughts beforehand. The agenda is the roadmap for the meeting and encourage everyone to actively participate in the discussion, as they all have ideas and thoughts to contribute.


Take minutes and action list

Meeting roles should be rotated to keep the team engaged. The minute’s recorder is a crucial role as succinct minutes are essential and help to keep those in attendance accountable. Assign individuals tasks to complete from the meeting. Be clear on who is assigned a task and when it is expected to be completed.

Meetings are important for your team to build respect and trust and learn how to collaborate to make decisions to move forward. Regular personal interaction between your Talent is imperative for the establishment of true team culture. If you need help fine-tuning your meeting process to get the most out of this vital part of business, contact us at C3Talent.

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