There are days (Don’t count them. Instant downer.) when it feels like your life revolves around meetings.
And let’s be real. Years back, when your family asked you why you wanted to go into ministry, you didn’t say “because business meetings just ... complete me.”
Outside of the fact that meetings can sometimes feel like the only time you get to slow down and interact with the people on your team or in your community—meetings can be soul-sucking dementors (don’t hate on us for the Harry Potter reference.)
But if you do it right, your meetings can be less soul-sucking, more life-giving, and a LOT more worthwhile, because they’ll be productive. Aha moments, breakthroughs, plans, clarity … oh the places your meetings could go!
Read on to find out how to be the patronus to those dementors (to complete the Harry Potter reference—we can’t just let the dementors get all the attention).
Some things we recommend:
- If the technology is not necessary for the meeting, leave it in your office (or at least put it on silent and turn it face down). And it’s listed as number one for a reason. In our recent meetings, we began to realize some patterns of what works and what just seems to stall any perceptible progress. Getting distracted by technology seems to be our biggest iss—hold on, someone's phone is ringing.
The rest are in bullet point style and are in no particular order.
- Pray first
- Use a whiteboard—the bigger the better
- Record it, especially if taking good notes isn’t an option (but let people know you're doing this, and your planned use of the recording)
- Let people get up and move around
- Encourage transparency
- Only use a digital medium if it really communicates a point more clearly
- Ask quality, diagnostic questions (then, distill what you've heard, summarize it, and repeat it to ensure there is no breakdown in communication).
- Bring water, snacks, or lunch
- Take short breaks
- View discussions through different perspectives
- Take pictures of the whiteboard before erasing
- Task someone to send a follow-up summary
- Establish next-steps, identify deadlines and assign specific tasks to specific people
- Foster a healthy, respectful push-back environment ...
And a few things to avoid:
- ... but be careful it does not become an antagonistic environment
- Not having an agenda / outline
- Doing all of the talking
- Cutting people off
- Not taking thorough notes
- Staying silent when you have questions
- Assuming consensus
What are some additional do’s or don’ts you’ve found helpful for your meetings? Hit the chat button in the bottom right corner and send us your thoughts.