There’s a lot of sage advice about how to hold more productive meetings—and rescue the ones that are headed south quickly. However, here are three bits of advice that may seem counterintuitive, but can actually work:
Let the emotions fly. Rather than stifle emotions, take a few minutes first thing to ask each person how he or she is feeling. That creates a feeling of openness and trust among participants and leads to more productive conversations.
Do less. Regular staff meetings are often unsuccessful because you try to cover too many things. Reserve your staff meetings to discuss immediate needs, dig into the details and focus on one issue at a time. Save discussions for long-term planning for other sessions.
Set the agenda when you meet. Don’t send your agenda out ahead of time. Instead, in the first minutes of the meeting, identify and prioritize as a group what you need to discuss. That way you ensure you are covering the most important—and challenging—issues.
— Adapted from “3 Counterintuitive Steps to Rescue Your Dreaded Weekly Meetings,” Matt Macinnis, FastCompany, www.fastcompany.com.