Upgrade your meeting habits to create more engagement and alignment
Break the cycle of bad meetings
None of us are ever taught how to be a good manager. We learn from our manager, who learned from their manager, and so on. You can spend hours reading articles about “How to be a better manager” and reading all the management books you can fit into your lunch break. But the reality is that you can only be better by changing your habits and behaviors.
One of the worst habits of all time in any company? Meetings.
Meetings where one person dominates the conversations, meetings scheduled for every tiny bump in the road, or meetings where you end up in the weeds rather than focusing on the bigger picture. We’re all too familiar with the problems.
Yet, more and more data is coming out about how much time and money we are wasting in meetings. In fact, executives consider 67% of meetings as failures. Depending on the executives’ salary, that could be a hefty sum of wasted money each year. Sixty-five percent of senior managers said meetings keep them from completing work.
Templates for managers
Meetings are the epicenter of culture
As a manager, it’s crucial that you take meetings seriously. Whether it’s a team meeting or a 1-on-1 meeting, your team is always looking to you for cues on how to behave.
Your behavior sets the tone for the meeting and the conversations within the meeting. If you always come prepared and you expect everyone else to come prepared, that’s what happens. If you continually bring the conversation back to the topic in focus, your team will begin to do the same when you’re not in the room. If you act sparingly with meeting invites, you’ll likely only get invited to the meetings you’re really necessary for.
When you begin the change the habits and behaviors of your team, this can have a huge impact on the rest of the company. Soon, you’ll be getting better results and other teams will be coming to you to ask for tips on how to improve their team.
Set your team up for success
- Focus on what’s most important. Share the purpose and agenda for the meeting so each person is clear on why they are there and what you aim to achieve.
- Hear from everyone on your team, even the more quiet folks. Each person has the opportunity to share discussion points to get their opinions and feedback out in the open.
- Get more out of your time together. Send a reminder 24 hours before the meeting to ensure everyone has reviewed the agenda and added their discussion points.
- Show your team you care by respecting their time. Get more done in each meeting so you spend less time in meetings and more time on what matters most.
- Get important feedback from your team. Have better conversations with your direct reports and give them space to share how you can improve as a manager and as a team.
- Keep everyone accountable. Assign action items and due dates to help everyone keep their promises to the team.
- People arrive late to the meeting, costing the company hundreds of dollars.
- Conversations have a lack of direction and meander all over the place.
- The team doesn’t come prepared so meetings often become a status update or “report-out.”
- You feel like meetings take you away from doing the work that truly matters.
- A lot of decisions are made during your meeting, but there’s a lack of follow-through after the meeting.
- Specific guidelines are included in the meeting invitation that everyone reviews ahead of time.
- Conversations are focused on what’s most important right now.
- Everyone prepares ahead of time so you can have real conversations about the work that matters.
- Meetings are where you get important work done which accelerates your work outside of the meeting.
- Each action item is assigned and given a due date as the conversation unfolds.