Let’s talk about meetings. You might think that’s a boring thing to be blogging about but I actually find them fascinating! It is possible to have a fun and creative meeting that actually produces results but you have to know how to manage them effectively.
How many times have you sat in a meeting, knowing that it’s a waste of time? Most of us dread attending meetings. It can be even worse trying to chair a meeting. Maintaining impartiality and attempting to have everyone participate can be a real headache. As a manager trying to get the best from your team; you probably have a bittersweet relationship with meetings. A great meeting can produce some fantastic ideas and improve productivity but those meetings that can drag on and on? It can be difficult to reach the right decision when tempers are frayed and people end up talking over each other.
The key to any good meeting is structure. Having a set of objectives to meet and the right processes in place in which to meet them is essential for those important decisions to be made efficiently. Sometimes you need a fresh pair of eyes to come in and facilitate the meeting, enabling you to get on with the decision making! By stepping away from the role of chairperson and being able to work together with the rest of the team as part of the creative process not only enables more effective decisions to be reached but assists in building rapport and understanding with the other team members.
With my experience of working as a manager within a corporate environment for over twenty years; I’ve developed the skills to get the most out of any team and ensure that goals are met. Now working as a professional business coach; I’m able to offer facilitated meetings to any business or organisation. Based on the knowledge and skills I’ve developed during my time sat in meetings (and chairing them) I have techniques that I can use and adapt for any meeting to really drive it along towards those critical aims and decisions.
An external facilitator taking care of the meeting enables everyone to participate fully and I always ensure that everybody contributes something! It can be difficult to work through an agenda and ensure that objectives are met and critical decisions made. By creating a completely neutral environment and being prepared to challenge assumptions by asking those difficult questions others may be too afraid to; I can keep the meeting moving towards achieving those goals.
‘Debbie leads the meeting in a professional way and often has thought provoking questions which make the meetings interesting and lead to engaging discussions’
Glenrose Investment Ltd
One of the ways I encourage a team to work well together is through individual engagement. Having a good knowledge of what makes people tick and how they work within a team is essential when group decisions are needed. By involving all staff and encouraging them to think in different ways than they might normally, I can make the meeting fun and interesting – really encouraging those creative juices to flow! It’s the creativity that enables those effective decisions to be made and new ideas introduced, which is usually the purpose of having meetings!
Hopefully, I’ve given you some food for thought on how you can improve meetings using structure and objectives. What do you think you could change to really turn those boring meetings into creative, decision making sessions?