Did you know that the attitude towards a meeting has an effect on its success rates?
After more than a year of working remotely, many people are starting to feel the full effect of isolation and frequent use of technology. As we plan on how to achieve monthly, quarterly, and annual goals, we ought to examine our approach to and attitudes towards online meetings for them to be successful instead of posing like another item in a to-do list that needs to be ticked off quickly.
Here are examples of ways that you can make the meetings feel less like a weighty obligation but something that everyone looks forward to.
a. Should there be a meeting?
This is a question that you ought to deliberate on and find the most truthful answer. We are all craving for social life. To some, the only way to rekindle this feeling is to call for a meeting. On the downside, it dilutes the essence of meetings if the main message could have been passed through other means and use less time. In consequence, if there are more important meetings in line, attendees are likely to carry on the same negative attitude.
Therefore, as you schedule meetings, ask yourself, should there really be a meeting or is there an alternative of passing the message or getting answers? Calling for meetings when it is absolutely necessary will give and cement that every encounter is deliberate and destined to benefit everyone.
b. Add a human touch
A lot has been said about how organizations can help employees protect and maintain their mental wellness that it is almost becoming a cliché. This is still quite important.
We are at a time when a human touch can do wonders, like looking forward to e-meetings and contributing. Human touch can be anything from personal greetings to a few minutes of catching up on the trends. A human touch makes people feel that they are important, not only for commercial benefits but also as social beings. This essentially changes their attitudes towards meetings.
c. Start with something that will grab the attention of attendees
Speedy technology has led to a drastic decrease in our attention span. We are in an age where we need a valid reason on why we should keep doing something. This is also the case with e-meetings.
Many people are unable to maintain their enthusiasm for and in e-meetings if they are excluded from the beginning and end up looking at the “end meeting” button and waiting for that minute when they will click it. In as much as time management is important, an immediate dive into the day’s agenda without a human touch excludes those who have little to contribute, at least in the first few minutes. For instance, by starting a sales pitch immediately, majority of attendees will take the back seat as listeners and if this goes on for a while, their chances of contributing will be low.
Grabbing your team’s attention from the beginning, in whichever way you feel is right, shows that the meeting is for everyone and their chances of contributing will be high.
d. Limit the number of attendees (where possible)
Remote work has challenged us to reassess the value of each action and be intentional. 5 people in a boardroom discussing a certain topic is not the same as the same number in a zoom meeting. A close scrutiny at the agendas will reveal that not all people are needed in a particular meeting. Reducing the number of attendees realigns the attitude from the rest of the team so when the main ones happen, they will be fresh and ready to put their all. This also cuts the time spent in meetings.
e. Encourage prior preparation
On surface level, preparing for a meeting seems like something everyone would do without a reminder. But that does not always happen. There are people who time and again, get into meetings not knowing the agenda. A few minutes into the meeting, they will be checking their microphones and lighting, adjusting their seats, excusing themselves to silence children, spouses, or their phones, rummaging through a pile of files looking for the right documents, etc. The minutes spent doing any or all of these can feel like a waste of time and sets the wrong impression where attendees feel like they are being subjected to the same unpleasing events intentionally- being punished- instead of benefitting from them.
Prior preparation helps to direct and energy to the meaningful aspects.
f. Encourage participation
Meetings where only specific people are allowed to contribute can be dull and unproductive. And if they are held online, attendees will be expressing their dislike in their social circles and staring on the screen absent-mindedly. This article has tips on how to make meetings inclusive and productive by handling the difficult characters.
g. Timing and time management
By now, you should have an idea of the right time to hold meetings. If done at a time when team members are productive and would rather work, it redirects their attention and they may not be able to embark on their duties with the same energy. In addition, if conducted immediately after lunch, attendees are less likely to participate. A short internal survey can reveal attitudes and preferences about meetings. Another important aspect is adhering to the time allocated for each meeting.
Meetings are crucial for organizational progress and excellence. However, frequent scheduling and adherence to the agendas are not enough to ensure success. The attitude towards them is equally important.