Weekly leadership meetings can be boring for everyone involved. It can be difficult to get anything real, tangible or important accomplished – unless you have the right strategy put in place.
The concept of the leadership meeting started out with the proper intentions. Entrepreneurs wanted a way to improve their leaders and inspire organic growth throughout their company. Over the years, these leadership meetings have morphed into dull, tedious get-togethers that nobody wants to attend. So how can you put some life back into your weekly leadership meetings? How do you get everyone so keen on attending that they arrive early? It may seem impossible, but it isn’t.
Step One – Create Interest
People love contests, and they love winning things even more, so why not incorporate that concept into your weekly meetings? At the end of each meeting, challenge the participants to find the answer to some question that relates to your business, your industry and/or its history. It could be anything from “Who held the first patent on an automatic dishwasher?” to “What was the slowest day in New York Stock Exchange history?” Winners could receive a free lunch or have their photo posted on the bulletin board. Get creative and come up with some great challenges for your participants… items that will really make them think. There are endless ways to create interest for an upcoming meeting. You could even put together a small team whose job is to plan unique meeting events.
Step Two – Time
Late arrivals can cause meetings to get off to a rocky start. Get your people in the habit of showing up five minutes early and always end the meeting on time. Time flies when you’re having fun, but it drags when everyone is bored silly. So, put together an interesting agenda for each meeting; something with a theme can be fun. Then start and end on time. Adjust meeting lengths so that you don’t have 20 minutes where nothing happens. Try to be flexible with meeting lengths. You may have a week where there are lots to discuss and other times where there’s almost nothing to talk about. Don’t force people to sit for 30 minutes in a meeting when there’s really nothing to say or do. Getting out early always perks everyone up!
Step Three – Get Everyone Involved
Many meeting goers just sit quietly during the whole time and say almost nothing. How can you get everyone involved so that the meeting is a big success? Each week, assign several people to come up with pressing topics for the next meeting. Try to involve everyone at some point instead of calling on the same people each week. People will just naturally become more interested if they are part of putting together the meeting agenda. This also helps you to identify natural born leaders and people with creative thinking. Ask different people to be responsible for refreshments, topics and other meeting-related things.
Step Four – Solve Real Issues
One thing that can really make a meeting a yawn-fest is when there’s nothing interesting to talk about. Try to solve real issues at each meeting. If you aren’t sure, then ask employees to submit items they think are company-wide problems. Maybe there are specific issues in the accounting department that need to be dealt with. Employees usually know more about what’s really going on than the management does, so enlist their help to identify real problems that need answers.
Everyone likes to think they’re contributing and helping to make their workplace better. Don’t be afraid to tackle the tough issues, such as appropriate workplace dress codes. There are always a few renegades in every company who will show up to work in house shoes or skirts that are too short. If your workplace doesn’t have an established dress code, then this would be a good topic for a company-wide meeting. Employees must realize that dress codes are set in place so that no one is paying more attention to what a person is wearing instead of their job.
Step Five – Get People Talking
Many of us are simply not good at speaking in public. In fact, the majority of meeting-goers will sit quietly the whole time and never say one word. How do you get everyone talking? How do you get their attention? One great way that always works is to begin each meeting by asking each person to talk about themselves. Most people enjoy talking about themselves. So, start each meeting by going around the room. Give each person five minutes to tell everyone what they’ve been up to. What are their hobbies? Do they have pets? What did they do last weekend? This can become a great time of bonding where employees learn more about each other.
Generally speaking, people get along better if they feel some sort of connection with each other. This can also lead to better cooperation in the workplace and fewer disagreements.
Putting together an effective meeting week in and week out can be challenging. Why not assign meeting agendas to small teams each week? Try to be flexible and change things up now and then by holding the meeting in a virtual space like Zoom or Go-To-Meeting. Change up your venue as well by holding one meeting each month at a local coffee shop. Try to meet in well-lit rooms with multi-media available. People tend to nod off more when they’re sitting in small, cramped, poorly lit rooms with dingy walls.
Once a year, take your meeting to another city. You might choose a city of historic interest or someplace where you’re thinking of building a new office/location. When your meeting times are interesting, fun and lively, people will get involved and you’ll notice that the meetings are making a positive impact on everyone. Try to remind your employees that weekly meetings are meant to help them grow as people and as employees. If your company isn’t benefiting from weekly meetings, then they’re a waste of time and resources.