Have you ever sat through a meeting with no direction or space for attendee communication? It can be frustrating, right? Believe it or not, meetings don’t have to be the bane of your existence. In fact, they shouldn’t be. Meetings can make or break a workspace. So how can you make sure your meetings are productive and have a positive influence in your workspace?
Let’s start by discussing what meetings should NOT be.
Meetings should NOT be:
- Spaces just to “tell” information/ data dump
- Spaces to primarily complain about problems
- Spaces that only occur last minute in the instance of an emergency
- Spaces that are not valued by others and regularly canceled
A lot more characteristics could be listed, but you get the point. So what SHOULD meetings be? Let’s start by looking at the purpose of these spaces.
The Purpose of Meetings
The foundational purpose of meetings is alignment and connection. When done well, they can increase team engagement and allow leaders time to focus on the business. When meetings are not consistent and reliably structured, it increases the risk of team member frustration, miscommunication, misalignment, and the underutilization of great ideas. Each workspace is unique and it is possible to create a meeting structure and strategy that allows for a core method of successful communication.
What meetings should be:
- Structured spaces with clear goals and objectives
- Spaces that are regularly scheduled around the same time and frequency
- Spaces that have open communication and a predictable communication system
- Spaces that are necessary for the function of each member and the organization as a whole
It’s important to note that meetings are not a “one size fits all” type of gathering. Certain meeting formats lend themselves to specific frequency: annual all-staff gatherings, quarterly manager check-ins, weekly leadership meetings, or daily huddles. Other types of meetings are PRN—as needed for opportunities and issues that pop up unexpectedly. Each meeting also requires a unique format that has a mixture and balance of different elements. A meeting should be a time for high-level overview, not regurgitation. They should focus on dialogue and discussion, points of disagreement, and resolution.
Communication is a key part in any meeting. Through my experience working with many organizations and asking lots of questions, I have learned about the significance of communication in meetings and its impact on an organization on multiple levels. I discuss this in detail in my book, People First, launching August 24th! Learn what owners and leaders are doing right in order to succeed and then implement the People First strategies. Purchase your copy HERE.