Meetings can be extremely beneficial for a number of reasons. They give you and your team a chance for discussion and to catch up and get acquainted on what’s going on throughout the company. They can improve communication and bonding which is vital when working in a team. However, we are all guilty of bad habits during a meeting, like checking emails and staring wistfully out of the window. These habits can stop everyone from getting the most out of meetings. With just a few changes, you can ensure that you are running effective meetings.
How to run an effective meeting
It is very hard to stay focused and motivated when you don’t understand why you’re doing something. When doing anything, be it getting out of bed, heading to the gym or cooking a meal, there is a motive behind it. You cook so you can fuel yourself and you go to the gym to be fit and healthy. You might not always feel like doing these things but the end result is the reason you do them. This is what you must remember in meetings. When held too often, they can become droll and tedious, so ensure there is a goal to work towards during the meeting. This will keep everyone motivated and encouraged throughout.
Running effective meetings can be challenging. Everyone has their own way of doing things but good management always listen to their team. Create a discussion with your team members and ask them to think about what they would consider being an effective meeting. Teamwork and communication is vital in any workspace so speak to your other employees and get their thoughts on how they’d like a meeting to run. Take some time and research techniques you could try. If there is something common which keeps popping up, consider incorporating this into your meetings. For example, if it is the general consensus that delegates become distracted by phones, ask everyone to leave them at their desks.
What is an effective meeting?
Employees tend to perform better when they are in an environment where they are heard and appreciated. Make sure your team knows that their opinion matters. If delegates aren’t forthcoming with opinions, consider having an online or a physical box for them to leave their opinions in. Remember that some employees may feel daunted by the idea of voicing their opinion, especially if it goes against the “status quo.” They may feel unable to share how they are truly feeling, so an anonymous box allows for employees to be honest. Encourage teamwork and communication around the office. Consider starting team building activities which occur weekly. These are a chance for your employees to get to know each other more and bond. A harmonious team are happier and more hardworking.
Remember that practice makes perfect. You can’t expect to go in and find the perfect techniques for your particular team straight away. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Change can be a great catalyst within a workplace, inspiring new ideas and confidence. Talk to your team and explain you want to make meetings more effective, which is beneficial for everyone. Try your own ideas along with their suggestions and find something that works for you. Each individual will cause the team to be a different dynamic, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution to running effective meetings. However, there are some tips for the individual which will make them feel far more alert and ready to reach their goals.
Running effective meetings
- Freshen up. Being sat inside a stuffy office staring at a screen for hours can be demotivating. If possible, get your delegates outside before the meeting. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, walk outside, this can really benefit concentration and clear your head. Everyone wants to walk into the meeting feeling ready to focus, so a breath of fresh air is the perfect start.
- Your brain is approximately 75% water, and research shows that when you stay hydrated it helps you become more focused and think faster. Hydration is also crucial for delivering nutrients to the brain which remove any toxins so your thought process will be clearer and you’ll have the ability to be more creative. You should aim to drink about 2 litres of water a day. This is vital every day and especially so if you have an important meeting. Encourage everyone to stay hydrated throughout the day and ensure each person has water during the meeting.
- Simply sitting and listening won’t keep you focused and allows your mind to wander. Note-taking is an important part of engaging in the meeting as it requires you to pay attention to the conversation. It also ensures you have a record of anything important that happened during the meeting and improves your memory skills. Always encourage delegates to keep notes throughout the meeting.
- Be comfortable. Always allow some time before a meeting to get a drink and prepare yourself for your meeting. Depending on the time of day, think ahead and plan to eat beforehand so you are satisfied but not too full. Avoid heavy, carb-loaded meals which can make you feel sluggish. A light meal which combines vegetables and protein is perfect to keep you focused throughout the meeting.
How to run better meetings
Holding a meeting offsite can have a range of benefits for everyone attending. A change of scenery can make meetings fresh and increase productivity. A new routine means a new perspective on any issues you’ve been facing. If you choose a dedicated meeting space, you’ll probably benefit from high tech, specialist meeting tools which you may not have at the office. This makes the meeting feel more distinctive and stops it from being a mundane occurrence. If you’re looking for the perfect space to have your offsite meeting, look no further than Alexandra House. We are conveniently located four miles from Swindon city centre and just 10 minutes from the M4 by car. Choose from 16 meeting spaces which can be tailored to your needs, and are available for both large and small groups. Our team has plenty of experience in meeting management. We also offer affordable meeting room hire packages which have all the essentials you’ll need for an engaging meeting, plus day delegate and 24-hour delegate rates.
Everyone has bad days in the office but recognising damaging habits is the first step to changing them. By making positive resolutions you can totally revolutionise the way you experience meetings and get more out of them. Running effective meetings can improve your work life and make it better. Always remember your limits and allow yourself plenty of time to relax and rejuvenate so you’re ready for the meeting ahead.