The #1 complaint about meetings is that nothing happens. When there is no action or forward movement, frustration mounts. And, we wonder why people don’t show up to meetings or develop blackberryitis during an endless meeting!
What can you do to avoid nothing happening at your meetings?
- Distribute the agenda in advance. An agenda helps participants prepare and raises the level of their input. It increases participants’ confidence that actions will be taken and shows that the leader is organized.
- Highlight expected outcomes. When introducing a topic, let participants know what action is indicated and their role in it. (For example, “New Hires” Outcome: Identify required skill sets.)
- Assign pre-work to participants before the meeting. Participant preparation raises the likelihood of attendance and support. Ask them to research a problem and come prepared with possible solutions to a problem or to make a presentation at the meeting.
- Deal with difficult participants in advance. Participant behavior can easily derail productivity. By approaching participants before the meeting, you can prevent behaviors that are getting in the way.