Do you find it a struggle to get people to participate in your meetings? Do you want to encourage more collaboration from your team members? If so, read on for five tips to have more collaborative meetings!
Come in to The Meeting With a Plan
One reason your meetings may be ending feeling more like lectures is the lack of planning before coming into the meeting. How will your team contribute ideas if the meeting itself seems disjointed and unfocused? Luckily, the solution to this problem is simple.
Before you set your next meeting, prepare a list of points of interest that you want to tackle. Your objective for the meeting should also go beyond just talking about these issues.
Make it clear to your team that you should arrive at an actionable point by the end of it all to encourage further participation.
Another way to encourage collaboration is by incentivizing it. And it doesn’t even have to be anything too big, as some words of encouragement can go a long way into creating more engaged team members.
Fast Company outlines how recognizing contributions is a good way to improve the overall work culture. You can foster an environment that highlights when someone has done well. It’s important to note that this recognition should go beyond the meeting room.
If a suggestion or contribution from your team member ends up with good results, continue to highlight their success. It is important to share the credit to ensure that the collaboration continues.
Find the Right Space For Collaborative Meetings
Your meeting room could also affect the outcomes of the meetings. Are the lights too dim? Is the room painted in a distracting color? Is the meeting place simply a spare room with chairs? These factors could really affect how productive your meeting is.
This is why many companies are now going outside the office and utilizing coworking spaces for their meetings. Industrious outlines how thoughtfully designed coworking spaces can accommodate teams of over 100 people. They can be ideal for anything from small brainstorming sessions, to large company gatherings.
As these locations are designed to be used for commercial use, the meeting space will be fully optimized for working. This will include comfy chairs, video tools, refreshments, and high-speed internet.
Even if you don’t rent out a space you can still take small steps to improve the meeting location. Inc explains how the shape of the table could very well dictate the flow of your meetings.
Rectangular tables are best as they convey a clear sense of leadership while still encouraging participation. If you’re looking to make your meeting spaces more engaging, you can also add one of our magnetic whiteboard products used by companies such as Google and Nike in their offices.
One reason your team may not be participating during meetings is that they don’t feel like they’re being heard. This often leaves their concerns unaddressed and gives off the impression that they’re only in the meeting to listen.
The best (and probably only) solution to this issue is to make sure to address all questions or concerns your team may have. You may even find it useful as the questions could provide you with a jumping-off point to move the meeting forward.
Ask them to Participate
If all else fails, you can always just ask your team members to participate. Now, you can be straightforward and ask for participation or you can be more subtle about it. Ask them questions and ask for their suggestions. A more effective way to do this would be to have one question go around the whole table. This is not only efficient but encourages further collaboration as each person who answers can jump off the point of another person.
If you found this article beneficial, check out our other articles on Smarter Surfaces.
Exclusively written for www.smartersurfaces.com by Ruth James