In today’s fast-paced world, attending meetings can sometimes feel like wasted time. Have your weekly meetings become a bit repetitive? Have they lost their purpose?
Could it be possible that your ineffective meetings can become a thing of the past with just a few Simple Swaps?
Reneè Funk coaches and guides professional real estate agents and team leaders. She is also an EWTS Certified Guide and recently hosted one of our Critical Conversations webinars entitled “How To Have Effective Team Meetings To Drive Productivity”
Those who joined learned:
- How to create collaborative and purposeful meeting environments
- How to improve meeting engagement, while eliminating the distractions of cell phones, computer use, and “multitasking”
- Renee’s #1 favorite meeting facilitator question, fostering impactful & inclusive meetings
- How to improve attendance rates, while saving time and resources
- The top 3 action items for meeting attendees to gain the most out of every meeting they attend
This blog features a few of the highlights from the webinar.
Get Your Agenda Straight
One of the most important first steps when hosting a meeting is to be clear on your intentions. This means setting an agenda and sticking to it.
The agenda for the Webinar covered 4 key areas:
The work before the work
Setting the stage – displaying consistent good habits and the importance of the first 5 minutes
Reneè’s top 3 suggestions to improve productivity
The next steps – moving the needle with purpose
Presence Is A Gift
For any meeting to succeed, everyone needs to be present. This is not merely being present in body. To have more impactful meetings you must also be present in mind.
Presence is a gift so stay focused and be respectful. Ask yourself what you want to gain from it, what is the purpose of the meeting, and how can you ensure it is time well spent.
Start by Identifying your role in the meeting – are you an attendee, or an organizer? Perhaps you’re both. Whatever your role, remember that curiosity is a superpower and you can harness this to have more effective meetings, but first, you must be present.
The Work Before The Work
Before you speed up, slow down.
You don’t need to rush off and make changes immediately regarding your meeting structure. It’s best to establish what the priorities are first.
How often do you use words without thinking? Phrases can become second nature but unless you break down their real meaning and how they can relate to your situation, they don’t really mean anything.
So what does ‘effective meeting’ mean to you? Let’s start with the definitions of each of the words:
Effective – To be successful in producing a desired outcome or intended result.
Meeting – A gathering of 2 or more people that has been convened to achieve a common goal through verbal interaction, such as sharing information or reaching an agreement.
Are you gathering the people but lacking the intentionality? How do you become more intentional to have effective team meetings that drive productivity?
Take a moment to do a 30-day review and audit.
- What meetings have you participated in in the last 30 days?
- What was the cadence of the meetings?
- How long did they last?
- What were the types of meetings that participated in?
Could it be possible that some of those meetings would have been better intended as a phone call or a shared document? How necessary was it to actually meet?
Reviewing the cadence, duration, and intention allows you to identify where you could have more efficiency.
Just because a meeting has become routine, doesn’t mean that it is productive or even beneficial.
How Important Is It?
Before implementing change you should slow down and ask yourself how important it is to shake things up.
Ask the people involved in your meetings. By seeking collaboration with curiosity you can begin to drive results.
Write out some discovery questions that you can put to your team. Ask everyone involved what their opinions are so that you can get perspective.
Your discover questions could sound like this:
- What are the top three valuable benefits you gain by attending?
- What is one thing that could be changed to improve the meeting?
- On a scale of 1-10 rate the team’s meetings over the last 30 days
- What adjustments could be made for the meetings to earn a higher rating?
Surprising Discoveries - Refresh and Reset
Reneè’s team had been having a weekly Friday meeting for a very long time. It was an established part of the team’s routine and she felt it was effective and served the right purpose.
However, over the last year, Reneè has been making changes after assessing the structure. She has discovered that her team likes creative spaces, and they like to work in different locations.
The changes she made were a direct result of the discovery questions.
After finding out they preferred an in-person workshop once a month, instead of the weekly hourlong structure they had been working to, she adopted a Friday Gains meeting.
Instead of dedicating an hour every week they stored it up and did a half-day workshop once a month.
The location was different every time and they focused on connectivity, collaboration, and camaraderie.
Could it be possible that your team already has the answers you’re seeking to make your meetings more productive?
Setting The Stage…The First Five Minutes
Did you know that the first 5 minutes are some of the most important times in your business?
Imagine how much more engagement you would produce if you got it right every time.
Here’s how Reneè makes sure her first 5 minutes are on point.
Gratitude – Start with a sincere compliment and encourage digital shutdown. Reneè ensures that her phone is on Do Not Disturb and that it is placed face down well out of the way.
Staple Slides – She uses 1 – 2 slides on repeat in every meeting, often starting with her ‘Presence Is A Gift’ slide. It is a tool that can be used to discuss being present so that it becomes an embedded command.
You could also try and incorporate a unifying slide such as company values or goals. The aim here is to use it to encourage a unifying exercise.
Agenda/ Housekeeping – It’s really important to know what to expect and how long the meeting is expected to last.
Could It Be Possible?
Creating an immersive and inclusive environment fosters fully engaged attendance by all.
Before you schedule your next meeting identify your important micro-moments, the moments that you can slow down to give thought to the work before the work.
When identifying the potential areas of opportunity together your team productivity will soar.
What Happens When Distraction Sneaks Up?
You’re only human, distraction can easily sneak up but there are two techniques that Reneè relies on.
She calls them her distraction busters.
Check where your feet are
Return to curiosity
Physically checking where your feet are reminds you where you are and returns you to the present. Once there engage your curiosity button.
How To Gain The Most Out Of Every Meeting
- Serve In The Moment -This could be as simple as handwriting your notes. This can improve retention and focus as well as improve your handwriting.
- Intentional Timeblock – Leverage and utilize your scheduling calender and don’t overbook.
- Launch & Wrap On Time – Always, always, and yes, always!
Here are some bonus foods for thought when planning your next meeting.
- Are they active or passive? – Make those distinctions and you will improve the results delivered
- Always Set The Stage – Specify early on if it’s a camera on or camera off meeting. Will you welcome questions throughout or just at the end? What’s the agenda? How long is it expected to last?
- Check Up From The Neck Up – Especially if the meeting is held over Zoom!
Are you inspired to join the conversation and learn more from our Certified Guides? Sign up for the EWTS weekly Webinar series hosted every Friday at 2 pm EST. Every session is hosted by a different Certified Guide and a brand new topic of discussion.