One Ridiculously Simple Thing You Can Do To Improve All Your Meetings
Most people are so busy going from meeting to meeting, with one meeting spilling over into the next. No time to plan meetings, no time to reflect on what might work better — just getting through the day. But there is one thing that brilliant leaders do all the time.
In this blog, Dr Carrie Goucher shares this one ridiculously simple thing you can do that will improve all of your meetings.
Hi, we are Happy
We are leading a movement to create happy, empowered and productive workplaces.
How can we help you and your people to find joy in at least 80% of your work?
It's almost too annoying simple.
Leave 3 minutes at the end of each session for people to give you some real-time feedback on that meeting.
Attention is one of the most precious resources we have at work. Honour it by seeking to improve your use of it.
Make giving feedback easy. Make it a habit.
Here are the three questions to ask:
- From 1-10, how hugely valuable was this meeting?
Get some numbers to improve on. The strongly positive and informal language in this first question is deliberate. We don’t want people to sit on the fence.
- What was the most useful thing that happened?
Find out what people actually valued most — it might be different from what you valued or even what you thought the meeting was about.
- What would improve this meeting this time / another time?
his is a neat collection pot for any frustrations. Use this to make changes. Acknowledge aloud those frustrations that can’t be easily changed within the meeting, or where people have different needs and expectations.
Collect your feedback in the easiest way possible
Looking for the lowest friction way to try this? Have people drop answers in the chat box (or in a Team/Slack channel) while you wait. Put them in a spreadsheet or just take a screenshot.
Want to be more structured or make it anonymous? Create a questionnaire.
It doesn’t matter how you ask as long as the process of asking doesn’t feel too onerous.
Reading about this technique is simple. Doing it is harder.
"Let's not open that can of worms. We all did our best. Of course I would have run it better if I'd had more time to think! There’s no time, let's just move on to the next meeting."
People are generally honest, constructive and supportive.
Here’s how you might introduce it.
At the start of the meeting, tee it up. "Before we leave the session today, I’m going to ask you to give me some real time feedback on how it went."
When the time comes, position the 'what's in it for me': "Please could you help me get the best possible use of our time by giving me your thoughts on today before you leave? There are three quick questions. Here they come."
Have the questions or the link ready to copy and paste into the chat. Appreciate people’s contributions but don't respond to anything directly there and then.
Challenge yourself to do this in every meeting you lead for one week.
You will be amazed at what you learn and what changes. This act of feedback is also one of self reflection - one of the most powerful things we can do as a team.
Want to learn more?
This is just one technique of many in the FewerFasterBolder meetings method — where we work with smart tools and human nature to bring precision and humanity to every meeting.
Join Dr Carrie Goucher in our online workshop on 23rd February.
- 5 Really Simple Ways to Improve Any Meeting You Run — another blog by Dr Carrie Goucher, with five simple ideas to make your meetings more purposeful, more honest and easier to follow
- How Many of These Mistakes Do You Make In Your Online Meetings? — Dr Judy Rees gives five common mistakes that people make in online meetings, and how to avoid them.
- Making Your Microsoft Teams Meetings Interactive With Breakout Rooms — Breakout rooms enable you to create virtual rooms of smaller groups, which are ideal for discussion and allowing everyone to have their voice heard. Find out how in this blog by Sal and Ebe.
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Dr Carrie Goucher
Dr Carrie Goucher has redesigned how we meet for the collaborative era, crafting meetings that are honest, focused, supportive and energising. Her PhD unlocked the real influences on meeting success and how we can go from meeting burnout to fewer, faster meetings that unlock progress. She has worked with over 70 organisations on developing a collaborative culture, including Mondelez, BP, Ricoh, BBC Worldwide, Pizza Express, Pfizer and MBNL.
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