One of the most common complaints in work teams today is the amount of time wasted in unproductive meetings. There are too many regular rounds of meetings, being their subjects very general and vague, such as ‘department meeting’. In these, teams are supposed to be monitoring and evaluating ‘the project progress’. But what happens is that many times employees go to meetings feeling anxious. They don’t have a clear picture of their ultimate goal and they don’t know whether what they have prepared is ‘what the managers wanted’ or if what they’re going to do has any sense or real effectiveness at all. To start changing this, you can continue reading this post and also read this one we had published some time ago on how to run effective meetings.

And this is just like the dentists and gum commercial: when most of your employees believe that meetings are not being productive … chances are they are right.

Where to begin to run effective meetings?

’Divide and rule.’ Although scary at first, this motto isn’t always negative and belligerent. In fact, it can be used in a positive way to hold more effective meetings. You just need to know how to apply it correctly.

  • Divide the work before the meeting. All work done ahead of time is translated into a more organized meeting. If everyone does their bit, everything will make more sense and the puzzle will fit almost without even noticing it.
  • Don’t assign the same tasks always to the same people. If something isn’t working with your team, what’s most important is not so much to find the person responsible so that you can put them in front of the mirror, but to realize that maybe you don’t have a bad team; you’re just… badly organized. To bring a new direction to meetings, try switching the tasks you usually assign to each employee. We guarantee that you will get more than a pleasant surprise.
  • Create the role of a ‘Meeting Coordinator’. For each meeting, name a coordinator that will make sure that everyone has done their part, and will review and share everybody’s documentation.
  • All for one… Start by not asking questions like, ‘Who has done this part?’, or ‘who has come up with this idea?’ especially regarding mistakes or things that you like least. Make your employees feel that you see theirs as a team work, and make them all responsible for what they throw on the table, for better and for worse. Of course, this is neither about bad co-workers getting off scot-free when they don’t cooperate nor about an exceptional employee becoming blurred within the average performance. Don’t worry about this, it has been proven that teams self-regulate when someone fails, and that they will praise a member that stands out positively. You will find that it’s a good way to help your workers train new skills, become responsible for their own work and increase their sense of belonging to a team.

And if there’s still any error, you can follow these tips to see more clearly where the mistake lies so that it can be fixed. Of course, be careful about people’s sensitivity. You know, teamwork was invented to make us better, so always give constructive criticism.

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