HOW many times have you phoned someone only to be told, “He’s in a meeting”?

At least 60 per cent of a manager’s time is spent in meetings. Research in one large organisation found that the figure could be as high as 90 per cent. Another survey concluded that many managers consider meetings they attend to be a waste of time. In fact, some managers feel that “meetings take minutes and waste hours”.

If you are a manager or team leader, you will have to hold meetings. Here are four steps to make them motivational:

•  Don’t hold a meeting unless you really have to: Be really, really sure that the meeting is needed and that it has a clear objective. By the end of the meeting — however long it takes, but the shorter the better — you must be sure you have achieved that objective.

•  Start the meeting on time: Don’t wait for anyone and don’t go over what has been discussed for the benefit of latecomers. Of course, you really should not have latecomers but if you do, speak to them individually after the meeting and sort it out.

•  Have a structured agenda: This should show the meeting’s start time, breaks and finish time. Don’t schedule meetings to start on the hour; tell people to show up at 1.20pm rather 1pm.

If it is a half-day meeting, start in the afternoon rather than the morning. This is likely to encourage people to keep moving if they think they will be late leaving work.

Stick ruthlessly to the agenda. Don’t allow people to ramble or talk about things that are not on the agenda. If you want to have chit-chat time, put it on the agenda.

Keep people moving and even try to get them out of the door before the scheduled finish time. They will appreciate your respect for their time and feel more positive about attending.

•  Make meetings fun: It’s a nice thought to supply snacks, drinks, fruit and chocolate. Start the meeting with a fun, energising game or a quiz. Let one of the team members chair the meeting occasionally (as long as they control the agenda). Allow people to have a laugh, create energy and enthusiasm.



So there you have it — motivational managers run structured meetings with clear objectives where people have fun and, as a result, contribute and get things done.

Tomorrow: Dos and don’ts of business meetings


Article by Alan Fairweather, the Motivation Doctor, an international speaker, author and business development expert. For more information, visit Article source: