Speaking at the American Specialty Toy Retailers Association in Baltimore
Ever find yourself needing to hold a meeting and JUST dreading it?
You know what I’m talking about… the glassy eyes, the unresponsive faces, the doodlers, the far-away-day-dreamy looks, the dead silence after a question is posed, the annoyed or bored looks when you discuss difficult items… even the under-the-table-phone-checker/chatterers.
Do these all leave you with the eerie feeling that you aren’t exactly being heard and your audience is tuned out? WAY OUT?
YOUR time is valuable, and so is theirs! You already know that it is crucial that they:
A) Receive your information,
B) Participate fully and willingly in the purpose of your meeting, and
C) Take the actions that you need them to, QUICKLY (all in a timely manner.)
After all, you’ve all got a lot on your to-do list, right? If you are anything like me, that list is calling out to you and growing steadily even now. So, let’s get to it!
Three main points to getting the most out of your meeting, AND your team:
1) Be a planner! Plan your agenda in advance. Be concise and clear. Use examples where possible.
2) Incorporate some creative communication to surprise and engage your team. Visual, verbal, physical. Make it stand out.
3) Start with THE POSITIVE! Three minutes of good news at the beginning of the meeting will make your team more receptive to sharing, engaging and being productive.
My assistant told me a story about a large company she once worked for where meeting after meeting after meeting was held – to the point that if she attended all the meetings she was supposed to, there would literally be no time for her to complete her actual job function.
And, frankly, these meetings were boring–dry and all-business, meaningless, often redundant, with seemingly endless talking. They often ran over the time limit, and items that were on the agenda were not even discussed. Whiners would sometimes “take control” of the meeting and derail the speaker’s timeline. There was no humanity in it, no joy, no inspiration. Nothing was being solved, and it felt like a waste, she said. She often left these meetings feeling absolutely drained and somewhat diminished, even bewildered, thinking, “There go two hours I’ll never get back!”
Until, that is, the day that Lynn came to have a meeting! Lynn is a spit-fire. She EXUDES positive energy, has a giant smile stamped on her face (yes, ALWAYS!), and is clearly enthusiastic beyond measure. She knows her material, but it isn’t scripted; it seems, instead,it is seamless. She made a promise right at the beginning to her audience: “I’m going to be real with you. We’re going to have fun together! You are going to participate, so your phone goes in this basket over here! You will leave smarter AND you will know what to do.”
Lynn kept her promise, always, and held the audience to keeping their end up, also. Shirking or non-participation were NOT options, and it WAS fun! Lynn had them do exercises, and they always stood up to do an activity because she said, “You use 1/3 more of your brain when you are standing.” She had them participate in activities that either proved her point or that they could take back to their departments to use as training tools. There was ENERGY! There was LAUGHTER! There was productive REAL TALK and HONEST FEEDBACK! There were even FIELD TRIPS! People LOVED going to Lynn’s meetings and would look forward all month to the next one. People even came in on their day OFF to attend her meetings and always left energized, thinking, and inspired to take action.
It came to the point that if Lynn wasn’t holding the meeting, there was a silent sigh in the room. Everyone WANTED to go to Lynn’s meetings and do what Lynn asked them to do and work with Lynn to make a better project/product/workplace. She built trust and loyalty. She built a team, just by mastering the art of the meeting!
For more ideas on how to make YOUR meetings more productive, here’s a free
Video Q &A session addressing just that!
It’s your precious time we’re talking about, so let’s make it COUNT! Have a great week, and a phenomenal meeting! You CAN DO IT!
For more helpful ideas, feel free to explore my website, www.barbaraglanz.com, where there are free videos, blog archives, speaking programs for hire, consulting, super books and DVDs and more- all to assist you with managing change, raising morale and retention, getting the most from your team, and improving customer service.