There is something that feels safe about having a meeting. It’s an opportunity to pull your team together and share everything that’s going on in your mind. The problem is that a meeting isn’t always the best forum for sharing information. In fact meetings are a bigger deal then what we make them out to be.
When you have a meeting you are asking others to spend time with you. Their participation and engagement is essential and if you want to maximize on it you need to take into consideration the:
SACRIFICE THAT PEOPLE MAKE WHEN THEY COME TO A MEETING
If you have an hour long meeting you are probably asking people to sacrifice more than an hour. Make sure you look at:
- The time it takes to travel to and from the meeting space.
- Whether they will need a babysitter and how much that will cost.
- If they’ve eaten or will need to eat before they attend.
If a meeting is necessary make sure you start and end on time, if you can provide food and child care that will prove as an incentive for attending. Cut down on the sacrifice by addressing the needs of your team.
PAST EXPERIENCES THEY HAVE HAD WITH POORLY RUN GATHERINGS
Preparation for your meeting is essential. Not only do you need an outline but you need to make sure it makes sense. Too many of us have attended poorly run meetings. Those meetings have left a sour taste in our mouth.
You cannot assume that people will show just because you said, “We have to get together.” Earn their trust by making sure you start and end on time and the meeting is well run by someone who engages everyone. If your meetings prove to be worth it, people will make it a priority.
LEVEL OF PARTICIPATION THAT WILL MAXIMIZE THE MEETING EXPERIENCE
If you just want to communicate information to your team put it in an email. Asking your team to gather should involve interaction. It should be a time where they can ask questions and share ideas. It should be a time where they can grow and feel the value of their involvement. Make sure dialogue is a priority.
Meetings aren’t always necessary; however, when they are they should be worth it. Before you sit down, plan out the agenda and send the save the date think about the people who attend. Do not strain their commitment by making it difficult. Make sure the time you spend together is well thought out.
What do you take into consideration when planning a meeting?