Do you feel a sneaking sense of dread when pondering your weekly team update or project meeting? Looking for a way to inject new life into that easy-chair your team has gotten into?
We’ve been watching organizations meet for years and have assembled a collection of not-so-obvious tips that will help you shake things up a bit. Scan through this list and see if you can pick out a quick pearl or three to apply in your next meeting.
1. Record it!
That’s right, capture a recording of your meeting.
Accountability and knowledge capture. By recording your meeting, you’re telling your team that what you’re talking about has inherit value and makes for content that should be shared with anyone who was absent.
You can use a handheld recorder, a smartphone or if you’re doing an online meeting, this feature is built in to Google Hangouts, Webex, GoToMeeting, etc. Promptly distribute the recording along with your meeting notes after things have wrapped up. As an added bonus, you can do a quick review of the recording to make sure you’re not talking too much.
2. Start or end at an odd time
Consider tweaking your start or end time to be just a tad different.
For example, if your meeting starts at 10 AM, consider moving it to 10:07 or 10:13. This makes meeting attendees more aware of the odd start time and forces them to plan a little more carefully to arrive on time. The familiar on-hour start or end time doesn’t force people to think and keeps established habits intact.
3. Make everyone sit in a different spot
People who’ve been with your organization for a little while will get comfortable sitting in the same place every time they enter the room.
Change this up.
Get everyone to sit in a new spot, next to someone they haven’t sat to before. You could even get a little creative assigning seats based on what month their birthday falls on, seniority with your company or even what they’re wearing!
4. Check in
Start your meeting off with a check-in. Go around your meeting room and ask each attendee to share something a) personal and b) meaningful with the rest of the team.
Depending on how verbose you want to be, you can ask something as simple as “Where’s your ideal vacation spot?” to “What’s the best restaurant for lunch in the city?” or “What was your least favorite class in college?”.
The point is to cut through the regular discourse and get everyone to really connect with each other by sharing meaningful insight into our selves. That makes for a memorable meeting.
The power of thank you is well documented.
We’ve seen this tactic work wonders when instituted in a recurring fashion. At the end of each meeting, get attendees into the habit of publicly offering thanks and accolades for others who did something special, went out of their way or just for being them. Your team will start going out of their way to think about what people did that really left an impression on them the previous week or two. Not to mention that everyone leaves the room on a high.
What a great way to start your day.