Meetings can be one of the worst business rituals for many employees. Too often, we sit in a boring, recurring meeting that kills productivity and work inspiration. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Paul Axtell says that meetings aren’t just about delivering results, but about the quality experience that occurs when employees leave feeling more connected, valued, and fulfilled. He suggests that leaders can do the following things to create such an experience:
- Work hard on being present.
- Demonstrate empathy.
- Set up and manage the conversation.
- Slow down the conversation to include everyone.
- Check in with people at specific times.
Don’t Put Others in a Slow Death
If you have sat in meetings where you did not even know why you were there, you understand how time-wasting and painful a useless meeting can be. A lesson you can learn from that experience is, thus, very simple: Do not create the same kind of meeting for other people. Make sure that you let people know why they are there, and make your presence visible.
Furthermore, allow some time to interact with your employees and show them your empathy. Observe, listen, and ask thoughtful questions to make others feel that they are able to contribute their voice to the matter. You can stop at certain points to double-check with people if they have anything to say before you move on. Provide a pause after asking, to give people room to actually think. If you’re willing to pause sometimes, the meeting will be slowed down a bit and your employees will be more mindful of what’s really going on.
Along those same lines, try to eliminate distraction sources, such as technology. Make it clear before the meeting start if you expect minimal use of technological devices or expect people to refrain from chitchat due to tight schedules. Axtell says this:
High-quality conversations with broad participation allow people to get to know each other in ways that lead to friendship and collaboration. It’s the act of being with other people in an attentive, caring way that helps us feel that we are all in this together. Crafting a quality experience in your meetings takes time, but it’s worth it.
You can view the original article here: https://hbr.org/2017/04/how-to-design-meetings-your-team-will-want-to-attend