How to Make Meetings More Interesting
Jeff Hindenach | HRPeople
July 20, 2010
Meetings can be deadly, especially if they feel unproductive. Listening to your boss drone on and on about things that don’t affect you just isn’t a smart use of your time. So how can you make your boring meetings more productive?
Research shows that increasing activity and creativity in meetings helps increase brain activity and alertness. Everyone’s happier when you make your employees and coworkers feel engaged and important to the meeting. Need help figuring out how? Follow these seven tips to make your meetings more interesting and successful.
We all doodle during long meetings. It helps kill the time and gives our brains a creative outlet. But doodling does more than just waste paper. It gets the creative juices flowing and improves your short-term memory functions.
Try this: Give every meeting participant a few sheets of paper and a couple of pencils and have them sketch out their ideas. It doesn’t matter what they sketch or how accurate it is — you’re not looking for fine art here — the simple act of sketching flexes their brains and helps them feel involved in the meeting.
Make Participation Mandatory
Remember your elementary school teacher who’d call on people even if their hands weren’t raised? She had a point. If you force people to think of answers, it gets their brain working overtime. Nothing makes people feel more uncomfortable than being singled out and unprepared in a meeting. If they know they can be called on at any time, they’ll be more attentive and constantly thinking of answers to each of your questions.
Try this: When you make an important point during a meeting, ask for feedback. If no one comes forward, start calling on the most bored-looking person. “What do you think of this plan?” “Do you think it will work?” “How should we proceed?” They won’t just feel involved in the meeting — they’ll also be generating reactionary, spur-of-the-moment answers that can sometimes breed the best ideas.