If you have ever sat through a dry, boring, longwinded staff meeting, you know the pain I am talking about. You too have felt the agony of trying to sit still and remain professional whilst you body is screaming at you to break free. If this sounds at all familiar and you are now the one running the meetings, keep reading. You likely know it’s time for you to try some creative ways to engage your staff and here are some quick tips.
I used to sneak to the washroom during meetings
Many times in a senior management meeting, I’d listen so someone drone on about something that we’d talked about a zillion times before. As they did, my mind wandered to all of the other things I could be doing if I wasn’t “wasting” my time in the meeting. I was less than engaged for sure!
I wasn't the only one looking for a distraction during meetings
When it began to feel like my fidgeting was becoming obvious and annoying to my colleagues on either side of me, I’d excuse myself to go to the bathroom. I’d drag the trip down the hall a little longer than necessary, to simply avoid the pain of heading back to the meeting. I wasn’t the only one who struggled. Others would excuse themselves to make an “important” call when they’d had enough.
Perhaps you the one now running the meeting
You’ve probably attended many of these meetings in your life. I bet you have felt that sticking a pencil in your eye might be less painful than enduring another hour of the required regular meeting. Yet, at this point in some organizations, certain meetings are mandatory. If you are now in charge of running some meetings, you might be unsure of how to get the necessary messages across without annoying everyone in attendance.
If you understand the true purpose for meetings, you will never run a meeting the same way again
Here is the thing, some meetings are necessary, that is true. However not all meetings are useful. The key to running engaging meetings is recognizing the true value of most meetings is relationship building rather than information sharing.
You could try to only share information, it might not work so well
Most information covered at a meeting could be covered in an email. Alternately, you could hand everyone a paper at the beginning of the meeting and say, “Please read this and sign off that you’ve read it.” You may include new information, some updates and you might possibly add a multiple choice question at the bottom for feedback on the one item that really needs feedback.
Attendees of a meeting are looking to build relationships
Now if you ran a meeting like that, it would seem cold. You would appear like a robot running the meeting. We don’t run meetings that way, because as I said, meetings are truly about relationships. We want to get to know employees. Staff are trying to build up working relationships with their colleagues. Often times, we are looking for employee’s opinions. Truthfully, we should also be trying to engage staff. Meetings should also be an opportunity for employees to feel that they do make a difference in the organization and that the work they do matters.
Knowing that, here are 5 ways to make meeting more engaging for your staff
Build relationships and you will have engagement
Employee engagement begins with relationship building . If your employees are not engaged in your meeting, you are wasting your time. Get the engagement by really including them. Be clear the meeting is about building relationships and structure it so that it truly can aide in that.
Question: Which one of these suggestions will you try at your next meeting? Make a comment below and let me know how it went.
My book is out!