Here’s our evidence-based guide that you can use to facilitate more impactful, authentic, and productive meetings with your team.
Ever feel like your meetings aren’t getting you where you need to go?
You’ve got a fool-proof agenda and the pre-meeting banter down, but something feels off when it comes to execution and team collaboration?
We hear this a lot – even more so in the era of remote work and Zoom fatigue. In addition to working towards developing a culture of psychological safety, here are our recommendations for evidence-based ways you can facilitate more impactful, authentic, and productive meetings with your team.
Think about how you want people to feel at the end of the meeting. When we plan meetings, we usually focus on the tasks we want to accomplish. Make time to also consider the current emotional state of your team, and how you want them to feel at the end of the meeting. Do you want them to feel connected? Encouraged? Refreshed? Motivated? Supported? Once you’ve identified one or two emotions, revisit your agenda and ask if the approach you’re taking will evoke this feeling.
Tee up new voices and ask them to lead portions of the meeting. Research shows virtual team leaders tend to underestimate their team’s leadership ability and capacity. Give new people a chance to shine by asking them to lead portions of the meeting. Set them up for success by giving them plenty of preparation time, and discussing time constraints and overall objectives in advance.
During the Meeting
Use the time wisely. Information can be shared over email. Meeting time should be used for discussion, ideation, and group decision making.
Notice who is talking, and who isn’t. If you have an over-talker, privately ask this person to spend the next meeting asking sincere questions rather than sharing opinions. If you have an under-talker, privately encourage them to speak up more.
Make time for NOT working. Developing strong personal relationships creates trust in teams that leads to more productive work. It sounds counterintuitive, but one of the best things you can do to have a higher performing team is to spend some time not working together. Play trivia at a break, use icebreaker questions to get to know each other better, and put people into breakout rooms for side conversations. Share pet photos or favorite recipes. Take a lunchtime walk.
Next Steps. Capture these clearly and concisely, communicating back with all stakeholders about both deliverables and interactions. Understand what still needs to get over the finish line (e.g., do you need to follow up with a stakeholder who couldn’t make the meeting?)
Assess and Optimize. Consider what worked and what didn’t work so that you can optimize for next time.
Senior Culture & Strategy Advisor
As a facilitator and consultant, Amber helps companies connect their purpose to their core strategies and behaviors in order to shape culture and drive business results. Amber has global leadership experience with World Vision and the US Peace Corps and has served as a leadership development, organization change, and strategy consultant to organizations including digital marketing agencies, software firms, universities, manufacturing companies, utilities, and non-profit organizations. As the Chief Communications Officer for Benedictine University’s Center for Values-Driven Leadership, Amber oversaw thought leadership, including publishing four eBooks.