According to one study you’re going to waste 31 hours in unproductive meetings this month. This process will help you and your team run effective meetings every time.
On average an employee attends 62 meetings each and every month. The study found:
- 91% of people admit to daydreaming
- 73% of people do other work during meetings
- 47% complain that poor meetings were the #1 time-waster in the office
- 39% have even fallen asleep!
At WorkshopBank we’re passionate about meetings. We believe all meetings should be workshops and meeting tables, in particular, should be removed.
A touch extreme possibly but the humble table seems to be a mortal enemy of effective meetings and productivity. Removing barriers like this works wonders for team morale.
Use this activity to help your group reach a common understanding on what factors influence nightmare, good and brilliant meetings.
It’s similar to the standard ‘Ground Rules’ session but it has a deeper impact because it’s the participants who are setting the rules.
- To help a group of Participants find their own way, understand, and progress towards effective meeting behavior.
- This tool can easily be adapted to any theme or topic.
When Would You Use It?
- Near the beginning of a training event where your objective is to improve and grow the participants towards a common goal.
- After icebreakers, program, objectives, expectations of the participants and getting to know each other.
Why Would You Use It?
Telling people how they should act or behave might work (with limited success) on a small child but when it comes to adults the more effective route is to give them the space and process to find their own way.
- 3 flip-charts (or 3 pieces of flip-chart stuck onto the wall)
- Packs of post-its
- Open-plan room with lots of space to walk around
- For the purpose of this process the theme of the event is ‘how to run an efficient meeting’ but you could adapt this process to any situation.
- The Facilitator puts 3 sheets of flipchart on the wall with these words: “Nightmare”, “Good”, “Brilliant”
- The Facilitator asks the Participants to think back and remember a meeting they attended that was a nightmare in their opinion. They don’t have to think of the same meeting and they keep this information to themselves.
- The Facilitator asks the Participants to jot down on post-its why it was a nightmare (one point per post-it).
- Repeat the process for Good Meetings and Brilliant Meetings. One point per post-it.
- The Facilitator then asks the Participants to identify whether each point is related to ‘People’ or the ‘Environment’. You could ask them to divide the flip-chart paper into two halves and move each post-it to one side of the line or the other.
- The Facilitator leads a debrief asking the Participants to explain deeper what they wrote generating additional comment from one another (which they can add to the chart as new post-its).
Step 2 in the Process with 3 blank flip-charts
Steps 4 & 5 in the Process with 3 blank flip-charts - the brainstorm
Step 6 in the Process - sorting, consolidation and refinement
Try these conversation stimulators
- Do you run meetings as part of your work?
- How do they work currently?
- How often would you say you have truly effective meetings?
- What are your strong points?
- What difficulties do you meet?
- Before properly starting the session it’s good to warm them up with an informal conversation about a meeting they’ve attended as a spectator. This allows them to speak about someone else first before turning the analysis back on themselves.
- The meeting they discuss doesn’t have to be in a professional environment. It could be any situation (e.g. parent’s meeting at school)
- Participants will almost always mention that the difference between good and brilliant is difficult to conceptualize. This is great for you, the Facilitator, because they then have to think deeper on what’s needed to make it brilliant! This stretches them unconsciously.
- They will note down many points on what a ‘nightmare’ meeting is (human beings are very good at talking about negative things!) That’s OK because this frees their mind from negativity, so they can now move to positivity. Unconsciously they move to good without you asking them to.