How to Run Meetings that Don’t Suck…Your Time, Energy, and Ideas

The start of the new year is a time for reflecting on what we accomplished over the past year, where we fell short, and what we can do to improve our businesses and personal lives. Many of us use this time to set goals and resolutions to help us achieve more in the coming year.

It’s an opportunity to infuse a fresh energy into all of our endeavors.

This one’s for all of you who work with a team…my New Year’s Resolution Challenge for you, should you choose to accept it:

No More Uninspired Meetings

John Kenneth Galbraith said: “Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything.”

Just Say NO! to unproductive meetings that suck your time, energy and ideas. You can do better!

Kickstart your business AND team meetings with agenda items that will increase productivity and improve the quality and effectiveness of the meeting.

Whether you’re holding a Staff Meeting, Team Progress Meeting, Board of Directors Meeting, Venture Capital Meeting, Think Tank Meeting, Brainstorming Meeting…you get the idea…

Think Outside the Box…

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and consider adding something different – an activity that engages and ignites – to the top of the agenda.

I recently held Morning Kickstart Sessions for an alumni strategy group at Grace Institute and a project team at Boston Consulting Group. Both groups need to be focused and at the top of their game – ready to strategize about job placement or actions to drive transformation for a client.

We kicked off each morning with an interactive juggling session to engage the body and mind and promote collaboration. We then created a blueprint for creating change and advancing with purpose. Other activities like yoga, dance, theatrical / improvisational exercises, interactive games, can serve this purpose as well. Juggling has the added advantage of being the perfect metaphor for life and business. We all feel like we’re juggling, and sometimes it’s overwhelming. We make progress by mastering one ball at a time, asking for help, learning from the drops, and letting go.  We stay agile by exploring new patterns and combinations. Results come with persistence and practice.

Here are 3 reasons why these sessions work:

1. Energy Igniter…They get the team firing on all cylinders. A workout for the mind & body energizes and enhances the ability to focus. Participants are in the achievement mindset and ready to find solutions.

2. Ice Breaker….A shared experience in something new can level the playing field and promote collaboration. Players are communicative, more open to new ideas, more comfortable to suggest new ideas, and more comfortable to suggest modifications to the ideas of others.

3. Idea Generator…Activities that get us out of our comfort zones increase creativity. We think differently after we’ve tried something new, and we begin to see new connections. Limitations and hard edges start to disappear. New ideas can be considered without judgment as the team becomes more open to new possibilities.

Most meetings are highly verbal. Promise me for that for your next one, you’ll consider a little less conversation…a little more action! Sometimes physical action can help us generate ideas that we didn’t quite know how to verbalize. 

Leave a comment below and let me know any tricks you’ve found for improved meeting productivity and results…and call me if I can help you kickstart the troops!