6 Critical Elements to a Productive Meeting.

May 16, 2023

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The concept of a productive office environment is quickly changing; therefore, our work

meetings also look different. Whether you work in an office, remote, or hybrid,
meetings and communication with your team members remains a critical component to success.
The following 6 elements are critical to incorporate to ensure a productive meeting.

  1. Have an Agenda.
    • You want your team to be prepared to participate in the meeting. Letting them know what to expect as topics gives them an opportunity to work up a comfort level of participating. Agendas are important, however, don’t spend time on a fancy agenda. Its best to use asimple template over and over again so that your team does not spend time focusing onreading the agenda when they should be listening to the speaker.
  2. Break the ice.
    • Not in the old school way of an ‘ice breaker’. If you use those words in
      front of your team, you’ll most likely see and fell a wave of agony come over the crowd.
      People think they don’t like them. However, people generally like the way they feel once
      the team starts talking and laughing in a more casual way. Find a way to start the
      conversation genuinely. “What did everyone do this weekend?” Who had the yummiest
      breakfast today?” “Who made their bed today?” You will be amazed at what all you
      learn from people when you ask seemingly simple questions.
  3. Start Positive.
    • We all know the power of positive thinking. Imagine the impact that
      having your meeting participants all thinking positive can have on the outcome of the
      meetings. Every meeting I plan includes a Shout Out portion at the beginning. Each
      person is asked to give a Shout Out to someone. It could be another member of the
      team, a business that provided a great experience, or a family member or friend that did
      something great. This practice of gratitude and positive thinking radiates through the
      entire meeting.
  4. Main Topic.
    • Be clear about your main topics and don’t have more than two. You should
      anticipate the amount of discussion a topic is going to need and plan accordingly. When
      you know that the discussion has run its course, don’t be afraid to call it to an end.
  5. Action Items.
    • Make sure that you recap any specific action items that arose from the
      meeting and that everyone involved has clear direction on the next steps. If it is a
      recurring meeting, make sure the team knows what work on before the next time you
      meet. If you are having a specific meeting to discuss a topic, make sure that each person
      knows the action items, all details, and dates that the items are due. Following up with an email that contains this information is a great way to ensure everyone is on the same page.
  6. Reinforce your culture.
    • It’s likely that you have worked hard to instill a company culture
      you are proud of. Be aware that every meeting, no matter how small, is an opportunity
      to reinforce that culture. If you have a casual culture, you might return to small talk at
      the end of the meeting by asking, “what’s everyone got planned for tonight?” If your
      company is more structured but appreciates honesty and growth, you might ask for
      feedback on the meeting from your team members. Choose one or two of your main
      company values and find a way to uphold them in a genuine way as part of your
      meeting culture.

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