Nail it the next time you get your team together with these tips for running more effective meetings.
For way too many people, meetings suck…and even if that isn’t the current situation for your group, it’s likely you don’t need to think too far back to when a meeting request was met with little to no enthusiasm.
Great meetings have a lot in common with great improv. They’re successful when a group commits to supporting each other, actively listening to each other, creating an environment where everyone feels comfortable contributing ideas, accepting ideas and building on them.
As an improv organization that works with clients throughout the Atlanta-area in the areas of productivity, leadership and collaboration, we have a handful of tips that you can apply right away to help charge up your next meeting.
(you can check out all our Corporate Workshops, including fun team building, becoming better with presentations, public speaking tips, handling change in the workplace, etc.)
Tips for Running More Effective Meetings
Tip #1) Active Listening
Communication is the key to any meeting, and you can’t have truly effective communication without everyone committing to actively listening. Improvisers have to be acutely in tune with everything being communicated to support the scene and make it a success and the same is true in a meeting.
You need to hear what’s being and understand it, before commenting, or queuing up your next line.
Also, put the phone away and give cues to whoever is speaking that you’re listening (make eye contact, nod, etc.).
Another good blog piece for leaders that is 4 Collaborative Leadership Tips
Tip #2) Support, support, support
Head into every meeting thinking of how you can support your colleagues. And trust that they in turn will support you.
A part of this is letting go and not being hyper-protective of your ideas of vision. Be open to change, or evolving from your position and ready to support other ideas and initiatives. Hanging on too tightly to the direction you wanted to go blocks you from accepting other options that could be of value.
Tip #3) Take a Breather
When an idea is suggested, hit the pause button on critiquing what was presented. It’s easy to immediately start to judge a new idea thinking of reasons why it might not work (that’s human nature)…but resist this. Take a breather and approach it from the perspective of thinking of reason why it could work.
This allows an idea to be flushed out to see its potential, rather than being squashed from the get-go, but sticking to this tip also has a significant long-term impact on a team.
Watch what happens when ideas and suggestions are met with positivity, respect and genuinely engagement from teammates. You’ll see everyone start to feel comfortable speaking up…and often this means getting contributions from staff who at times were reluctant to offer their thoughts. It doesn’t you do follow through on every idea…but it does mean, in the beginning, every idea is respected.
The next time you run a meeting, think of communicating these three tips to the attendees, and of course, model them yourself, and you’ll see a more productive engaged group who will actually start to look forward to those meeting invites.
If you’d like to connect with us to see how our corporate workshops at Dad’s Garage could help you with bringing your team together, running more effective meetings, communicating and collaborating at a higher level, as well as managing a Multi-Generation Workplace, touch base with Matt and he’ll be happy to talk to you about our workshops.
Matt Horgan at Matt@dadsgarage.com or by phone at (404) 523-3141 x 205
For another article on how to run more effective meetings, our friends at Vancouver TheatreSports also discussed the value of improv in this area.
You can read that here – Better Meetings using Improv