Many of us spend large portions of our working days attending meeting after meeting. Unfortunately, these gatherings can be unproductive, extremely boring and with a distinct feeling that participants are simply going through the motions. Here are seven simple steps to reenergise and refocus meetings in your workplace.

  1. Ask each person attending the meeting to select one item (and only one item) for the agenda. By limiting it to one item per person it refocuses attention on what is actually important and will ensure that the meeting is productive and meaningful.
  2. Rotate the chair and relinquish control. By sharing responsibility for chairing the meeting it empowers others to invest in the process.
  3. Ensure that at least one meeting each week is focused on innovation i.e. not discussing day to day operations. Unless you create the space for creativity it will not happen. It also shows that you place a value on creativity.
  4. Encourage challenge and debate. You don’t want groupthink. You don’t want consensus at all costs. The best ideas and solutions come about when we respectfully question and challenge one another. This approach encourages us to prepare for meetings and to be the very best version of ourselves.
  5. Before every meeting spend five minutes considering what you need to say and what you would like to take from the meeting. Why are you there? Are you on autopilot and drifting through your meetings? If you are then it is a waste of time. Take the time to prepare in advance and watch your productivity soar.
  6. During the meeting ensure that you are actively listening to each person and where your mind drifts gently bring it back to the discussion. You don’t have to have the answer and you don’t have to make the smartest response. Just show up..for real..listen with curiosity and then carry out step number seven.
  7. Ask more questions. Sounds simple right? But its not something that we typically do. By asking more questions we encourage others to think more deeply and in doing so better answers, better solutions and better ideas emerge.