How to Mix Up Your Meetings And (Maybe) Make Them More Productive
Let’s face it, meetings can be a bit droll and tend to meander on occasion, which can then result in negative productivity. In our 20 years of experience, we’ve seen plenty of glazed-over eyes. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. We have three ideas that can dynamically (and we mean it!) reinvigorate your workplace congregations. The following trends are science-based and have proven to help combat boredom, improve focus and leave your attendees with something to remember.
The Power Pose
Now, if in your imagination, you envision a group of adults physically getting up out of their chairs and assuming a positive posture, in the middle of a meeting after reading the words “power pose”, you wouldn’t be far off. The concept is that holding your body in a positive “power” posture for short periods of time can give you a nice little jolt of good vibes, a sense of well being and reduced stress. If you are still a little skeptical, this idea is presented in a TED talk, which means that people much smarter than us believe in the potential of the pose. The research discussed in the talk suggests that in as little as two minutes, you can alter your body’s chemistry enough to receive some serious benefits. This is great for both the presenter AND the presentees of your meetings. Some examples of a power pose are the “Super Hero” (assume a wide stance with hands on hips and chin up), the “Sun Pose” (assume a wide stance with arms spread above the head and chin up), and the “Business Pose” (legs on the table leaning back in a chair with hands behind the head). Pose at the beginning of the presentation, take a break and pose in the middle, or heck, even take a pose at the end, whichever way is guaranteed to relieve stress and inject some positive energy and confidence into the proceedings. The fact that you’ll be doing it with your peers and bosses adds a level of humor that can only add more levity to the assembly. So, during your next boardroom gathering, take some time to find your inner Supermen and Wonderwomen and then go over those spreadsheets!
The Primal Scream
If you like the concept of power posing, the idea that you will like this next suggestion is not too much of a stretch. The concept of the primal scream is part of a pretty heavy trauma-based psychotherapy created by American psychologist Arthur Janov. It involves repressed pain from past trauma. Luckily, our use of it won’t be nearly as intense. The more practical and simple idea is that screaming out loud, even for short periods, has the ability to reduce stress. The name of the game when trying to reduce stress is to produce endorphins and a good scream every once in awhile is a great way to get a quick fix. A primal scream exercise at the beginning of a meeting can be cathartic for your participants. The result is a mellow audience, primed and ready to dig in. This is beneficial for the presenter and those listening. And, even more than your power posing, you and a roomful of other adults screaming out loud in a small conference room together is hilarious. What better way to break the ice and grab everyone’s attention? Also, if you like being on the cutting edge, studies show swearing out loud is another viable way to reduce stress in the workplace. So, make sure the door is closed and go ahead, start your meeting off with a good dose of unnecessarily loud profanity and then go over those quarterly reviews!
If the previously mentioned concepts don’t work for you, this one is sure to be a winner. One of the biggest problems facing business’ these days is lack of employee engagement. If your employees aren’t engaged, then it’s tough to be an innovative, efficient company. When you think about it, where better so spawn excitement, innovation and creativity than at your meetings. One of the trendy answers to the problem of engagement nowadays is gamification. Wikipedia defines gamification as “the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts”. In practical terms, that means give your employees some motivation to be there and receive the information you want disseminated. Ways to incorporate gamification into your meetings include: use of apps, icebreakers, trust exercises, arts and crafts (seriously), and, in our opinion the best, word games. One example of a word game is not telling your people, but asking or challenging them to think the opposite of the problem you present to them. This is an exceptional exercise because it gets your employees thinking differently and keeps them engaged. Check out the science behind it. In the end, if people are having fun while still accomplishing work and retaining the information you are delivering, that is a super positive way to operate a meeting. So, try incorporating gamification at the start of your next meeting. Why not play human bingo and find out who in the office has been backpacking across Europe, then you’ll all be engaged enough to sink those teeth into some pie charts!
We hope you’ve found this information helpful and it has you thinking differently about your next meeting. We say, go for it! Incorporate something new. All of these suggestions will inject fun into your workday. And, after all, who doesn’t need a little fun in their day? No matter which one you choose, it could end up being a meeting to remember.