Do you meet with your team at the start of every morning?
Standard management practices calls for that sort of thing, right? We all pile in a conference room or huddle around the office with pen and pad in hand and stare at the person in charge.
There’s a sideshow going, a lot of head nodding, zoning in and out, talks of numbers, strategy, and goals. Then the presenter stops talking, asks if anybody has any questions (which nobody does) and then the meeting is over.
Here are some things you should consider for your next staff meeting:
1. Start On Time
Timeliness is a sign of respect and discipline. When you start a meeting late it gives off the impression that you don’t value other people’s times. If you’re running late have someone else start the meeting for you.
2. Revamp Your Ice Breaker
Move over show and tell and hello new-agey stuff that might make your eyes roll.
Start your next meeting off with mediation, laughter or deep breathing:
Start off your team meetings with a simple 5 minute mindfulness meditation. If you have a conference room great! Push back the table and chairs and create an open space for everyone to have a seat. Lower the lights and turn on a guided audio mediation. I’ll even let you in on a little secret – UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Center offers Free Guided Meditations. Just click on this link here and press play.
As the famous saying goes, “Laughter is the best medicine”. Did you know that laughter could reduce pain, stress, protect your heart, increase creativity, improves employee morale and strengthen team identity? When you start a meeting off with a few laughs it helps to elevate the positive vibes in the room and get everyone a bit more comfortable. Don’t worry about having to be funny, that’s what the Internet is for.
For example, if you’re in the Pet Industry you can start your meeting by asking, “How many of you feel like this on Monday mornings?” and then move right into your talking points.
It can be a challenge in the workplace to get everyone to be flexible in their thinking in order to achieve company goals. Start off your meetings with a simple pranayama (breathing) exercise to help your team feel calm and centered. There are many benefits to deep breathing practice – like increased oxygen to the brain, lower blood pressure and reduced stress. Stress is a big issue in the workplace and how we handle stress impacts our overall health.
According to A Harvard Medical School study of 1,623 heart attack survivors found that when subjects became angry their risk of further heart attacks doubled compared to those who remained calm. In a study of 5,716 middle-aged people, those with the best self regulatory abilities were 50 times more likely to be alive and without chronic disease 15 years later than those with poor scores on measures of self regulation. As the only autonomic function easily controlled through voluntary effort, breathing serves as a portal through which imbalances in the stress-response system can be corrected.
So not only do those people who know how to manage their stress are more likely to not have chronic disease but those with stress related imbalances can correct them with breathing techniques like pranayama.
3. Have An Objective
Know what it is you want to discuss and achieve by the end of the meeting.
4. Be Proactive
Draft up an agenda for the meeting and email it to the attendees ahead of time. Some people need time to digest things and write out their questions, comments, and concerns prior to meeting.
5. Allow Discussion
Why have a meeting if no one gets to ask questions or give feedback? If you just want to delegate tasks a meeting is not needed for that.
Keep It Short & Simple. Your meetings should not last longer than 30 minutes. A long time ago in corporate America land someone decided that an hour long lecture was somehow a good roadmap for team meetings. In today’s fast paced and instant gratification atmosphere these types of meetings are a waste of everyone’s time – including yours. Your clients are waiting to be served, your team is anxious to meet deadlines and you’ve got dragons to slay.
Go break a leg!