Use meetings to cultivate success and prevent failure

Posted by Troels Emborg
on June 29, 2017

Let meeting attendees specify their wins and defeats and achieve a more dynamic organisation where good vibes fan out.

Few things are as tiresome as a meeting opened by the boss, followed by the boss taking the floor, the boss elaborating, and finally the boss summarising, while everyone else attending the meeting is mainly concerned about staying awake.

Adhering to a strict structure in meetings is not a bad idea, as we have previously said in a blog post, but even the strictest way of running a meeting can be inclusive of participants. The point of the meeting is after all to get things moving, and since a meeting takes up time in someone’s work day the goal should probably be to make that time count.


Highlight wins and defeats

Many organisations have an inherent risk of inefficiency simple due to people not knowing what their office companions are working on. Someone might hold valuable information for another, but not being privy to each other’s tasks and assignments makes it impossible to reach out and offer assistance in these cases.

This is comparable to some division of the business going to work with a feeling of failure while the department across the hall keeps celebrating something with popping corks on champagne bottles. And these imbalances can be remedied by a few simple tweaks at those weekly meetings that most organisations have. 


Last week’s win

Highlight the things that work well by saying them out loud. Let every meeting participant put into words something positive from the past week. It may be closing the deal after working on a particular customer for the longest time, or it could be sharing praise from a client, or a collaboration between co-workers working out nicely. 

Or perhaps the chiropractor finally managed to properly crack someone’s aching back raising spirits, or maybe someone’s daughter graduated with high marks. The point is to let the good vibe spread and accumulate as the positive energy extends throughout the organisation.

In case of a massive turnout at the meeting, it may be more fruitful to divide into smaller groups changing the groups from one meeting to the next, keeping things dynamic.


Taking stock – and then what?

The item of taking stock runs the risk of draining all energy from a room if not addressed suitably, but if you manage to find the right way of going about assessment, it may increase your efficiency significantly. 

It is a matter of straying from the path of step-by-step evaluation of everything and its development through a lens of the past, and instead focusing on the proverbial square one that you are currently on, figuring out how to move forward improving the quality of work.  

Have each employee give a short recap of projects and tasks and ask them to suggest ways of correcting any derailments and continuing whatever is going well.

This method changes the meeting culture and allows the employee to point to various successes and goals achieved, and it is an open forum for asking for assistance in case some assignment is proving difficult. It also gives the one in charge an opportunity to keep track and react to small issues before they become big problems that might otherwise lead to dissatisfied customers.


Always be the leader

Giving employees a voice at a meeting is paramount, but it is just as important for the person in charge, be it as meeting leader or executive at the office, to step up and take charge actively. Begin the meeting on time, stay on schedule, and finish up on time as well. This includes a responsibility for keeping attendants from digressing, from elaborating needlessly, and for making everyone stay specific.   

It is also on you to ensure summaries during the meeting. If any decisions are made it must be clear as day with whom the responsibility to carry out the decisions is.


New Call-to-action

Topics: Meetings, Effective Meetings, meeting culture