Office meetings, you can’t live with them, and you can’t live without them. They can be the source of all ideas, but also the source of disruption, if not done correctly. Here's how you can hack your meetings, with the help of an international recruitment agency, BGC Malaysia.
Having trouble with optimizing your meetings? Here are some tips on how you can hack them!
1. Set up some ground rules
Before starting the meeting, set some rules that will allow the meeting to flow efficiently. Some common meeting rules include:
Show up prepared and on time
Ensure that participants can arrive at the meeting, or return from breaks on time. It’s also important to remind your colleagues or employees participating to contribute meaningfully to the meeting.
Create a safe space
You want everyone to participate and perform well during the meetings. Allow people to voice out their opinions, without having the other participants refuting their opinions. You want people to feel welcome in the space provided.
Try not to deviate from the focus of the meeting. You want to come up with the best solutions possible. Try your best to steer away from unrelated discussions during the course of the meeting.
No devices allowed
Did you know that more than 70% of people admit to doing other work during their meetings. By encouraging a short “device ban”, you’re allowing those involved to listen up and think better. Plus, participants involved won’t be able to do any sneaky emailing or unrelated work throughout the entire meeting session.
When ideas are abuzz and solutions come pouring in, it’s easy to forget taking down the minutes of the meeting and chiming into the meeting verbally instead. We’ve been culprits of the same mistake. To avoid this, we suggest recording your meetings with a voice recorder instead! That way, you’ll be able to pursue the meeting without having to stop participants.
2. Start every meeting off with a short brainstorm session
Here at Singapore recruitment agency, BGC Group, we always begin each meeting with a short brainstorm session. Our CEO Tristan Chew recommends holding a short 7-minute brainstorm session to get our ideas flowing.
There are some ground rules for the brainstorm session though. Firstly, no idea is a bad idea, and secondly, there should be no discussion about individual ideas until the brainstorm session is up.
Looking to start a brainstorm session of your own? Why not try out the following:
Speedstorming: In speedstorming, participants are each provided a piece of paper to generate three ideas within five minutes. Afterwards, the papers are switched, allowing a new person to build upon the idea, for the next five minutes.
This method is ideal for small groups, with a short window of time to work with.
Reverse Thinking: Much like reverse psychology, reverse thinking allows participants to find ways to prevent what they want to achieve. Confusing? Just remember that the first thing you should be doing is to identify the problem, and then reverse it.
For example, if you’re a writer looking to get more views on your blog, you should have something like this:
To get more views on my blog
Reverse Brainstorming Solution
Discuss a topic no one cares about, with little to no punchy headlines
Choose a trending topic and a catchy headline to grab people’s attention
Mind Mapping: Remember them? If you don’t, mind maps are simply visual tools used to draw relationships between ideas. A mind map is simple, you start by writing down your goal or problem, and ask participants to think of related issues.
3. Update participants involved with the main focus and the agenda of the meeting
Save time during your meeting sessions by educating the participants on the nitty-gritty details of the meeting. Send out an agenda detailing the purpose and objectives of the meeting. That way, everyone involved will be all caught up to speed before the meeting begins.
4. Always ask questions (even if you already know the answer)!
A good way to get the ball rolling is by asking leading questions during the meeting session. Some good questions to throw out are:
What’s that for?
How can we track the success of this campaign?
Can you elaborate?
What do we want out of this project/campaign/initiative?
Need more ideas? Check out these articles for more leading questions you SHOULD ask in a meeting:
5. Recognize the head of the meeting
Sure you want the meeting room to be a safe space for individuals to pour out their creative ideas. You may think that by having one person dictate the direction of the meeting will prevent the free flow and sharing within the session. But you’re wrong.
When you have one authoritative figure in the meeting, you’re allowing them to shut down inappropriate conversations, steer discussions back to the agenda of the meeting, and if needed, make the final decision. In addition, during heated debates, conflict and arguments may arise - issues which the decision maker of the meeting can absolve.
6. Don’t overshare
One surefire way to get a discussion off track is by oversharing updates during a meeting. Not only is this distracting, but it also encourages employees not to read important memos sent out. Keep the updates for email reminders only. That way, you’ll limit the number of distractions during your meeting session.
Did you find this article helpful? Tell us your special meeting hacks in the comments section below!
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