Great! You made it. You are one of the 98% of the people who is exploring how to avoid boring meetings. We share three key insights of our practice.
Let us start with sharing a model we use to consult organizations to change their meeting culture and work more effectively. Think of a meeting as a spider web with three dimensions. Why do you meet? How visually stimulating is your meeting? How interactive is it really? Are you making full use of the brains in the room?
Is your spiderweb big enough to capture all ideas and potential of the group?
1. Start with the PURPOSE of meeting
Meeting by default? Not any longer! End the meeting-culture in your organization by raising awareness to the need or nonsense of meeting.
- Do I and the people that are here need to meet (at all)?
- What is the purpose/goal of the meeting or gathering?
- Are there other ways to reach the goal (of the meeting)?
Next time you are planning a meeting, you can use this template:
(1) Why are you meeting? What is the purpose of coming together?
(2) What should be the outcomes? Is it a draft text? The outlines of a new strategy?
(3) Who is needed to get the wanted results from this meeting?
(4) What process fits the purpose, outcomes, and people?
And, of course you need to be prepared to practically make it happen (place, time) but that should never be the starting point.
2. Use VISUALS to use the FULL potential of people
People falling asleep? Wake up and stimulate the other (visual) half of people’s brains. And make the meeting more creative and fun.
- How can I prepare the agenda so that people get the bigger picture?
- How can I keep people’s attention with me while I am talking?
- How can I make notes that people DO actually read afterwards?
Next time you are in a meeting, experiment with graphic facilitation. For example, make the agenda a pie-chart. With just looking at it everyone instantly knows what topic is a priority or takes the most time. Bored? Try making notes in a visual way. For example, find a metaphor for the meeting. Is it a journey? Or perhaps crossing a bridge between two departments?
3. Make GROUP DYNAMICS work for you
There you are. Annoyed you listen to your colleague. ‘Not the same point again!’ you are thinking. ‘There we go again’. Next powerpoint! Get rid of endless bullet points and think of how you can have all contribute to finding a solution constructively, rather than debating each other!
- How can I turn the meeting away from one-way communication towards more interaction?
- How can I optimally use the space and people’s movement?
- How can I more trust people and build on their strenghts?
One way to see an issue from different perspectives is using De Bono’s thinking hats. Change roles and have fun thinking along. What hat do you normally have on? Can you perhaps try another one next time you are in a meeting?
Contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org or on +31(0)624643336 for a modelling session or an upcoming strategic meeting you want to have prepared well. Or check our pages on visual services, visual thinking trainings, and group process consulting.
Interested in numbers? See our infographic on Facts and Figures of the Dutch Meeting Culture.