Rejuvenate Your Ho-Hum Meetings

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Staff meetings provide your people a unique opportunity to experience four crucial core needs; to feel empowered, lovable, connected and contributing.

“Meeting people in a genuine way and feeling like there is a vital and meaningful connection going on makes me come alive.”      

Sharon Salzberg, NY Times Best-Selling Author

Here are key activities and elements to include to rejuvenate your people and the meetings you share together:

    1. Get clear about and communicate your overall objectives in advance. Are you there to inform, emotionally express, entertain or inspire? Persuade them? How do you want to be heard and how do you want to hear others?
    2. Express appreciation and compliments (this is separate and different from reporting successes and celebrating progress). This need not take long. You could say, “Please go around the circle and appreciate something about the person on your right.”
    3. Review your purpose and core values.  Introduce a variety of exercises such as, “Here’s a copy of our values.  Which one is most challenging for you this week and how can we best support you?”
    4. Use an agenda provided by all. Report, review, and brainstorm on common agenda items such as:

        • Challenges, e.g. a difficult client, increasing sales or how to keep the lunch room clean

        • Projects, e.g. a new sales process (internal) or client marketing strategy (external)

        • Systems, e.g. accounting, marketing, or professional development

        • Workplace Culture, e.g. development of company values, raising morale or reducing gossip

        • Other, e.g. vacation schedules, parking or upcoming events

            5. Use a consistent meeting structure. Report, review, and brainstorm on common agenda items such as:

          • Form a circle to promote equality and visibility

          • Start and end every meeting on a positive note

          • Rotate facilitation of staff meetings so everyone takes a turn, even though certain aspects must be reinforced by leadership team members

        • CEO or other leaders present reinforce the organization’s purpose and values. For example, share a story, a quote, a case study, or article

             6. Brainstorm meeting guidelines and stick to them

            • Capture on a flip chart what each person needs and wants in order to participate in meetings at 100%.

            •  Write down all ideas.

            • Ask the group to choose 3-5 guidelines such as:

            • Talking without interruption

            • Using a talking stick

            • No put downs or making fun of anyone’s ideas

            • Considering all (even seemingly outrageous) solutions

            • How to maintain order: (adopting techniques such as those described below)

                     Higher:  When someone says “higher” it’s a request to reframe a negative comment to a positive.  

                     Popcorn: “Popcorn” is the phrase used to break up side conversations.

                     Gain attention supportively:  Raise your hand.  Others do until all get quiet.

                7.  Trial your guidelines: ask everyone to live with them for a period of time, then decide to keep or revise.

                8.  Use a meeting binder Use a 3-ring binder with dividers and include your meeting guidelines, minutes as well as sections particular to your organization, projects or structures.  Include:

              • A Tracking Sheet for Agenda Items: Capture agenda items and track their progress

              • A Calendar: Use calendar pages to capture events and follow-up dates

              • Plan fun. Plan a barbecue, a meal together, an outing or community event. You decide when, what, who’s in charge of it, etc.

                  9. Celebrate success and progress. Track, prepare and report progress briefly. Celebrate what has been accomplished. You may want to share a snack or take a few minutes to shift gears so people feel joy upon its completion.

            by following the above guidelines, you end your meetings with encouragement and a positive focus. Because you were clear in explaining your objectives upfront and asking for help in achieving them, people feel informed, have set clear expectations that were met, and felt relax, creative, and rejuvenated by the quality of the gatherings. 

            As published in the column The Extraordinary Workplace in St. Louis Small Business Monthly, April 2014

            Why People Hire LifeWork Systems

            Business owners and executives, community leaders, parents, educators and individuals hire LifeWork Systems because they know that effective conditions and conversations make all the difference in building trusting relationships, achieving dreams, and creating solutions and innovations for our evolving world. When people are happy and responsible, emotionally and socially intelligent, confident, and appropriately seen, heard, and supported, they always exceed expectations. We help instill into every person common concepts, terms, tools, and processes that result in healthy, happy, caring and contributing individuals, teams and organizations. Our mission is to create a world in which all people love their lives!

            We appreciate you being here on our website and encourage you to reach out to us directly at or  314.239.4727. May something we offered in this article and website help you love YOUR life ~ because YOU matter!

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