How many meetings have you gone into and immediately thought ‘Why am I here? This will just be the same old thing again!’? This then reduces us to lose motivation, engagement and enthusiasm and we end up shutting off from the meeting. We expect the same process and structure, with the same things repeated and the same outcomes of the meeting – a lack of results. However, simply proposing the question, ‘Why is this meeting different from any other meeting?’ can produce very different effects!
When organising your team meetings, it is your responsibility to keep members engaged and enthused throughout. Wayne Turmel for Management Issues says “a lack of mindfulness allows habit to dictate our behavior, rather than the action that might get us the best results.” This means when involved in communications we could end up slipping into habits of answering emails when on a conference call, failing to keep a meeting on-topic and on-track or letting your mind wander to other things. For the most productive meetings, we all need to concentrate on our mindfulness and the way to do this is through focusing on the reason and the desired outcome of the meeting…
At the start of the meeting, you should address the question ‘Why is this meeting different from any other meeting?’ to focus the group on why they are here and what impact this meeting has. The benefits of addressing this early on are:
- The meeting attendees will not slip into a state of disengagement and instead are made aware why this meeting is important from the offset
- If you are clear what the purpose and desired outcome is, then you can ensure what your prepare and how you structure the meeting matches this accordingly
- The meeting will be more likely to stay on-track because everyone is aware why it has been called and what you wish to gain
- Meeting attendees will feel confident to address if the conversation is taking you off-track because a safe environment has been created by outlining the purpose to begin with
Wayne rightly comments that focusing on this simple question ‘tells me how invested I am in the outcome, what I can contribute, what I have to learn and how much attention must be paid’ and isn’t this what you want all your meeting participants to feel? Could this simple technique have a significant benefit to your meetings’ effectiveness?