Almost everyone can relate to the drudgery of meetings. Sometimes, they take too long when they can be shortened. Other times, there’s no clear action point as to how to move forward. These are among the classic huddle boo-boos. The less obvious but most common, however, is the fact that meetings rarely empower employees. People walk out of the boardroom exhausted and sometimes regretful of the wasted time.
Regardless of the subject of your discussion, meetings should build up your employees. Meetings are supposed to inform them, compel them to take action, or renew their commitment to your project or organization. Thankfully, the key to doing that is simple: knowing what stirs up each of your employees and bringing that to your discussion. In short, learn their personalities. In most meetings, you’ll most likely encounter these:
These people are not your fellow business partners or top executives. They are ordinary employees who just have the attitude of a boss. They’re the ones raising opinions and asking questions often. Their voice matters and has a tone of command in the discussion. Meetings become a waste of time for them when they’re not given the opportunity to speak their mind.
Let these people have a leadership position in the meeting. You can, for instance, ask them to prepare some guide questions that will help you discuss the agenda better. You can also give them a brief segment at the start, letting them do a run-through of what you’ll be talking about. The only thing that you should watch out for in these bosses is their tendency to be overbearing. By leading the meeting, however, you can manage their “airtime” and give the same opportunity to others.
These people are the complete opposite of the bosses. They’re usually silent. You might even think that their minds are wandering somewhere else—which might be accurate sometimes. But you’ll find equally good insights from them when they speak up. They just don’t like being the center of everyone’s attention. That’s why they rarely like meetings. So how do you encourage them to be engaged?
One good approach is to let them write (rather than speak) their ideas. Distribute pieces of paper and pens and dedicate at least one portion of the meeting for jotting down insights. This will not help only the wallflowers but also the rest of your team, encouraging everyone to participate. This benefits you, too, being able to see ideas in a more tangible form. If you want a more modern approach in writing down notes, though, consider the meeting space hotels in Seattle provide as they are complete with tech-advanced amenities.
These are your very detail-oriented employees. They dislike meetings that don’t have structure, clear agenda, or action steps after. Because they’re also very diligent with their tasks, they prefer meetings that are fast and that they could get out of as soon as possible and continue with their work. It’s worth tapping them in making your meetings more laser-focused. Assign the conscientious to be your timekeepers. Let them be facilitators as well, ensuring that the discussion stays on track.
Again, the key to making your next meeting meaningful for your employees is to know what makes them tick. Learn their personalities. Bring out their strengths in your team huddle. All the best!