Ever found yourself facing a full day of meetings at work? At some point in our lives, no matter what career path you’ve chosen, you’ll find yourself stuck in meetings you don’t need to be in, or meetings that don’t seem to have an objective outcome. They can feel like a waste of precious time and resources, but they’re often difficult to decline. Here at Wellineux, we’re continuously working to work out best how to utilise our time and create meaningful meetings with our clients and community. Read on for our seven easy tips to create meaningful meetings.
Set an agenda
Let’s face it, a meeting without an agenda isn’t really a meeting at all. Before any meeting, you need to set an agenda and ensure you’ve got clear goals for the meeting in place. What will be achieved? What is this meeting actually about? Once you’ve answered these questions, ensure the rest of the meeting attendees have access to these as well. This will make for a speedy, clear meeting which has goals that everyone is across so that everyone can come prepared and ready to dive straight into solutions mode. When everyone is prepared before the meeting, it means you can go straight into the questions, debate and decisions. This allows for a much more open-minded conversation, which results in a much quicker meeting as well!
Find the right mindset
In order for a meeting to be successful, you need to be in the right frame of mind. Why not try 3 minutes of mindful colouring before the meeting begins? This will help yourself (and colleagues) into alpha brain waves, ensuring that everyone is more open, creative and able to solve problems together. It also means they will not come into the meeting thinking of all the things they have to action from their previous meetings, but instead have a clear mind and fresh eyes for productivity.
Invite the right people
When you’re the meeting organiser/facilitator, have a think about who actually needs to be there. While it’s always great to have as much brain-power as possible, it’s not productive to include people that don’t 100% need to be there. Conversely, if you need to have big ticket items actioned or approved in meetings, ensure that you invite the approvers to your meeting. What may take a five minute discussion in a meeting to approve can sometimes take a whole day of emails to otherwise action; so it’s about being really specific about what you the meeting needs to achieve and inviting the right team members from there.
There’s nothing worse than sitting in a meeting watching a colleague scroll through their Insta feed, and rather than awkwardly tackling it halfway through, why not put some rules in place before the meeting begins? Have water ready for people to drink, put a blanket ban on phones (unless necessary) and ensure no other distracting screens are visible. Choose a sound-proof room (if possible), and somewhere that doesn’t receive a copious amount of foot-traffic past it. By eliminating distractions, you’ll be able to harness everyone’s full attention.
Leave the office
If you’re finding that you’re lacking creativity and having difficulty in your current office environment, it may be time to change things up. Try a walking meeting or meeting outside of your normal work environment. The change of scene allows for our minds to be clear, where new thoughts begin and help to see things from a different perspective.
Record the deliverables
A productive meeting means creating change and having meaningful discussions, and these conversations need to be noted. If there’s someone that isn’t participating actively in the conversation, ask them to scribe the meeting and then send through deliverables after the meeting to all attendees. If there’s no resources available, set up a recording device to capture the meeting conversation. You’ll be able to transcribe it afterwards, and there’s nothing more valuable than being able to listen back to an important meeting. On this one, ensure that meeting notes are circulated within 24 hours of the meeting to keep momentum and ensure that all deliverables are clear.
End meetings when the goal is accomplished
When you’ve answered those first questions or goals we set in the first tip, it’s a clear sign that the meeting needs to finish. We’ve all been in those meetings that drag on, but having a final goal means you’ve got a clear end to the meeting. Always stay goal oriented in meetings, and try not to get sidetracked by idle chit-chat or tangent ideas
We hope that you’re able to have more meaningful, productive meetings this week and achieve everything you’ve written down… and more! If you’re still in need of more help when it comes to mindfulness in the workplace, we offer an 8 week online program to all members of your organisation, no matter their location.