5 tips for better meetings

5 Simple Tricks to Improve Your Weekly Team Meetings

Alex Silverwood HR & Managing Staff, Time Saving & Processes

“Oh no!! The weekly staff meeting.”

If your like IIF, your firm will have weekly staff meetings, but how do you make it meaningful and most importantly productive? We have five simple tricks that will improve your weekly meeting and make it work for your business.

It’s all about enthusiasm and energy

Make the meetings shorter, turn those meetings into 45 minutes instead of an hour. By doing this your forcing yourself to run the meeting with more energy and in turn will have a better flow.

When you’re running a meeting, focus on the energy more than any other element, this will create better meetings. Energy is contagious, use it for engagement.

The question mark agenda

Good meetings need clear agendas that every participant is aware of. For those regular meetings, it is important to set an agenda that repeats each week to make the process simple. However even though there is an agenda in place make sure you check with your team to see what they would like to cover. There might be some important burning issues that warrant discussion, and you don’t want to leave those to the end.

Make the agenda clear and run through what you are going to discuss before you move on to the topic. This gives you time to allocate to specific points and allows you not to get engrossed by one point. So many meetings are poor because too much time is wasted on the first thought that comes up.

Do your regular meetings descend into pointless discussion? Try making each item on the agenda end in a question mark. This means that there is something to answer and resolve which speeds up the process.

Timing & notes

This is a simple yet very effective way of making a meeting run smoothly. Normally will only take 30 seconds. Ask the simple question, “How much time does everybody have?”. There’s nothing worse than when you’re in the middle of an important discussion that effects the whole team and someone leaving mid discussion.

While most meetings don’t have formal note taking, if your like IIF you will be giving tasks in your weekly meeting. It is important to record these, as a note not written is a task lost. Try have a designated note taker for your meeting.

Discussion, solution & agreement

Most meetings loop through these simple steps. Take an item on your set out agenda, discuss it, review the solutions suggested or actions, then agree on the solution provided. It’s important to get everyone on the right page. Then on to the next agenda point. (Now that’s energy and flow!)

Who is in charge? It is important to whoever is in charge to determine items that need communication and those that need a decision. Poor meetings turn into a debate where something should have been communicated eg. a new process, or update. However, remember meetings are not a place for implementation they are a place for communication and decisions.

In terms of flow and the momentum of the meeting, we recommend covering off a few of the simple agenda points where you can discuss, solve, and agree quickly. Also seeing agenda points getting crossed off helps boost energy, “everyone like seeing a finish line”.

It’s important to understand some points may need further discussions and won’t be agreed on. If you’re running the meeting it will be easy to identify these issues and keep moving on to keep the energy and flow running.

Confirm agreements and actions

The last point of the meeting is to confirm any agreements that have been made or actions. Make this part of your agenda. It’s crucial!

With a solid objective in mind, a tight agenda and a commitment to involve the meeting participants in planning, while focusing on the energy you will be well on your way to running great meetings.