[:en]What if your meetings were some of the most creative meetings out there?

The good news is that your team meetings can be more effective and productive.

The following advice is primarily for team meetings owned by project management professionals or other project team leaders. With some adaptation, these boards can be applied to most team meetings as they represent the principles of best practices that will ideally be rooted in the corporate culture.

1-Decide if you Really Need the Meeting

Ask yourself if it’s really necessary before you set up a meeting. Weigh the meeting costs in man hours at the expected value it will add. This seems like a simple thought, but it’s very easy with repetitive meetings to just keep doing them because they’re planned instead of because they’re worth it.

It is easier to assess value with one-time meetings organized to achieve a certain result than with regular status meetings that have a more open agenda. It is therefore a judgmental decision to be made before a meeting is scheduled.

2-Start Every Meeting with a Win

Ever wondered how to start a meeting positively?

Start your meetings with a win.

If you start your meetings by announcing a victory, set the tone for the rest of the meeting. After all, people will immediately feel more positive about your meeting and more motivated to participate.

Your profit can be big or small. Be creative – was a project a success? Has anyone performed unusually well? Is there a milestone you can celebrate?

Share that with your team.

Alternatively, everyone during the meeting asks to share a victory.

Anyway, you make your meeting a success.

3-Internally Score your Meetings

Did you know that people are more motivated by improving their own performance than by external rewards?

It’s true. And you can use this in your meetings.

Together with your team, score your meetings to make sure you’re continuously improving them.

What does this look like in practice?

Ask everyone to score the meeting after the meeting. You then calculate the median score.

Other things to keep track off:

  • Do your meetings end on time?
  • Do meeting follow-up items get done?
  • Are there tangible results thanks to your meetings?
  • Do meeting participants engage during the meeting?

In the end, you will have data to improve your meetings so that they are as productive as possible.

4-Take turns in leading your Team Meetings

People appreciate a lot more things they make themselves than the efforts of others.

Use this in your meetings.

Provide a rotating system where you take turns leading your meetings. This way people appreciate your meetings more. And they also get the feeling that they’re part of those meetings.

But wait a minute. How do you make sure your meetings are consistent?

Use meeting guidelines to map out what meetings should look like so that they are as productive and effective as possible.

But in addition to sharing the ownership of your meetings, you also want to make sure that people stay as active as possible during your meetings.

5-Build a Diverse Team for Meeting

The structure of your team is important for how creative it is. If everyone shares the same background and skills, how creative can they really be as a group?

That’s why it’s important to build a team of people with different opinions, backgrounds, training and skills. That’s when real, insightful discussions are born. So, to promote creativity in the workplace and in your meetings, make extra effort to hire a diverse team.

6-Stand Up During your Team Meetings

Ever you held standing meetings?

Then maybe you know they’re great at letting people join us.

Because they feel more active.

During stand-up meetings, you have to stretch your legs, you get your blood flowing, and getting up makes the meeting much more active than sitting. Keep your team meetings upright.

In the result, your meetings feel more convenient and productive.

7-Use an Alarm Clock to End the Meeting

One of the biggest problems with meetings is that they take up too much time.

You COULD use less time… But you end up using much more time than necessary. Because there’s no urgency.

Use an alarm clock. Once the alarm clock rings, then the time is up and the meeting has to end. See how this gives a lot more urgency to your meetings?

15-30 minutes are good time limit for your meetings. If your team meetings are regular, weekly meetings, 15 minutes should be plenty of time.

8-Give Everyone Time to Speak in Meeting

Some participants at the meeting take over the meeting… and others remain silent.

However, there is an easy solution. Schedule a few minutes of speaking time for everyone during the meeting.

By default, everyone has to speak out. Now you don’t just want mindless conversations… You want meeting participants to gain useful insights for the meeting. Share your calendar before your meeting. In this way, participants in the meeting can prepare.

Eventually, your meetings will be more productive because you will get everyone’s input.

9-Use Different Meeting Themes

Want to make sure your team meetings always have a tangible outcome, then use different meeting themes.

That is, a theme for every meeting you hold. These could be about learning something or incorporating themes into your team culture (for example: wellbeing). By using themes in this way, you make sure that your meetings don’t feel stagnant. Instead, you encourage creativity and innovativeness.

The way you incorporate themes into your meetings depends. You could go all in and do activities related to the theme. Or, you could discuss the theme during your meeting.

For example, if you want to encourage a healthier workplace, you could do stretches before the meeting or keep your meeting after a yoga session.

Need examples of meeting themes?

  • Better teamwork.
  • A healthier workplace.
  • Work-life balance.

What meeting themes come up for you?

10-Invite a Guest Speaker in your Meetings

Google organizes Google Talks, conversations with both well-known and lesser-known speakers, such as entrepreneurs, authors and experts in different areas.

Google employees can attend these calls. Google also lets people outside the company view these conversations online.

Why are they doing it?

To help their employees develop themselves. This means a more creative and productive working environment. So, invite guest speakers to your team meetings.

These speakers don’t necessarily need to be experts in your industry. Instead, they could talk about different themes that are important in the workplace.

Just a few ideas are inviting experts on…

  • Better communication
  • Developing yourself to be a top performer
  • Storytelling
  • Creativity
  • Implementing productive systems

11-Get Creative to Create an Active and Engaged Meeting

What’s the best way to get meeting participants to engage during your meeting?

You could get people to participate by thinking bigger. Use games to create a fun meeting. Improve methods to get people to quickly get creative and have fun.

The point is this that you don’t have to limit yourself. Instead, think of the best way to get your team to participate.

12. Change Locations Meet Outside the Office

In the same sense, you’re not limited to a specific location. Changing locations once in a while can help you organize better team meetings.

If you’re always holding your meetings in the same location, they might not produce anything new.

Need a few ideas for what locations you can use?

  • Take a walk.
  • Visit a local café or restaurant.
  • Rent a conference room.
  • Go to a local park.

13-Find Out How You Can Improve

What’s the best way to keep improving your meetings?

Ask meeting participants what you can do better. At the end of the day, that’s how you figure out how you can optimize your meetings. A good idea is to ask for feedback regularly. With this feedback, you might just see patterns in the problems that people see in your meetings.

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