When executed well, meetings are anything but mundane. Their purpose – to unite individuals and create a shared perspective – makes a major impact on organization in several ways. A team with visions that align are better equipped to make clear decisions, complete projects on time and under budget, and make steady progress.
While meetings are the vehicle that unifies perspectives, it is the responsibility of company leaders to steer them in a way that lays the foundation for this to happen. An astounding 73% of people multitask in meetings instead of devoting their entire focus to them.1
There are six types of meetings in particular that every leader should make it a priority to master.
The importance of aligning your team cannot be overstated. It will make all the difference in the world when it comes to formulating goals, coming to decisions and devising strategic plans.
In order to facilitate alignment, you should make sure that your meetings are inclusive spaces that encourage everyone to contribute. Do your very best to avoid the pitfall of one or two participants dominating the conversation. Create a safe space by letting the team know that all ideas and questions are welcomed and valuable. One way to keep meetings on track is to have a clear goal and agenda before they begin.
While the audience for one-on-one meetings may be smaller, the impact can be significant provided they are handled well. There are only two to four people involved in 73 percent of group meetings.1 This leaves out contributions from the majority of your team.
When executed correctly, one-on-ones are fertile ground for give-and-take, productive discussion that can inform leaders of issues and ideas they may never have received in group meetings.
An unconventional, yet highly effective, way to approach one-on-one meetings is for the manager to put the employee in charge of leading the meeting. This gives each employee a sense of ownership over the meeting and motivates them to actively participate in in it.
Sometimes, when an employee is facing a challenge or struggling to come up with a new idea, getting a fresh perspective from their teammates can provide inspiration. This is where group support meetings come into play. They are held specifically to assist staff members overcome obstacles, troubleshoot problems, look for opportunities, brainstorm, and so forth.
A simple agenda that clearly outlines the challenge faced or the idea in the works is critical when making the most of these meetings. Leaders should manage the meeting in a way that ensures attendees stay on track with their suggestions and points.
Surprisingly, this essential type of meeting often gets overlooked in favor of meetings that revolve around projects or new clients. This is a grave mistake, as taking the time to introduce yourself to your team and humanizing yourself to them is an important step in establishing a healthy working relationship with them. It is the first step in building a relationship based on trust and respect.
While the meeting serves as an introduction, it should never be all about you. A well-executed leader introduction is just as focused on getting to know your employees, and encouraging them to make their voices heard, as it is on your background and goals.
Complaint Resolution and Answered Questions
Listening to complaints may not be the most pleasant process, but sometimes it is necessary to create or preserve a strong sense of unity. Employees that feel heard and appreciated are motivated to work harder.
Unanswered questions can lead to confusion, timeline snags and poorly completed projects. Taking even 20 minutes to provide answers, or simply letting employees know you will find the answer for them if you do not know it at the moment – and then actually finding and supplying the answer later – does wonders to help produce high quality work on schedule.
Both of these meetings should be structured tightly so as to prevent them from becoming a free-for-all. They are not an occasion for employees to vent; their purpose is to facilitate resolution and provide clarity.
Few things can cause an uproar among your team like change of any kind. It makes people uncomfortable and can even anger them, regardless of whether the change is positive or negative. Shaping perceptions of the change in question is essential for making related processes run smoothly and supporting smart decision making.
First and foremost, you should make it clear that you respect and value your team’s thoughts and reactions to the change, and ideally involve them long before the change occurs. Doing so will set the tone for a more positive reception and openness. Secondly, you should encourage them to voice any concerns they may have and answer their questions to the best of your ability.
When you become a master at the aforementioned six types of meetings, you position yourself, your team and your organization as a whole for long-term success.
For more information about how Gavel International can help your organization through outsourced meeting planning, event and travel incentive programs, contact us.