Truth be told, people hate office briefings. We tend to grumble and complain when we go to briefings, so instead of briefings we call them team meetings or gatherings, but sometimes even this change can’t help. The truth is that these meetings are important for the business development and everybody is aware of that in some way.
The task of a good manager is to make these meetings reach their intended goal. But this goal should be clearly defined beforehand. For example:
- These meetings incorporate a social component in the working atmosphere where people tend to be highly isolated in their offices in front of their computers
- These meetings make it possible for everyone to hear one and the same thing at the same moment which is a more reliable communicative channel than spreading information around
- The most important thing – these meetings make it possible for team members and even the companies’ different levels to interact – questions, discussions, clarifications, a chance for group problem solving and arriving at a consensus
It is not that people hate team meetings in general. They hate those meetings that are badly held. They hate those pointless and ineffective meetings that are a waste of time. They hate it when somebody is reading a list of important messages when they can read it themselves (much faster and more selective). Employees really can’t stand spending their valuable time discussing topics that are important to them but finally end up realizing that the decisions have already been made.
I provide some guidelines to make your company’s future briefings a meaningful and constructive event of learning, experience exchange and support for the participants as well as to reinforce the authority of the managers that initiate them.
- Hold your meetings effectively with the help of a plan and a timetable
An effective agenda includes not only the topics of interest but also the time that each discussion will take. Guide your discussions and do not let them come to a grinding halt.
- Make sure all opinions are heard, paying particular attention to those employees who are rather distanced and not aggressive as they are usually passive listeners. In a team, you never know who might suggest the most interesting decisions so let everyone take active part in the process and be alert at every single moment.
- Hold team meetings only when it is really necessary
If you just need to announce something, use memos, e-mails, a post in your company’s website or similar means. Make sure the team meetings are perceived as important, serious and meaningful events.
- Plan carefully each meeting’s details
Apart from the topics to be covered and the best sequence of topics to do so, you should also plan what kind of atmosphere you would like each discussion to take place in and define clearly the goal you would like to achieve in the end of the meeting.
- Send out the discussion topics and the necessary information in advance
Provide your employees with the chance to prepare themselves and feel engaged at every single stage. Let them know what is expected from them (i.e. Please, read that and come to share your opinion at the meeting.)
- If you are not the best leader of such meetings and you find it difficult to follow these guidelines, you might delegate the briefing to the best one.
The leader might well be defined by taking turns – this strategy will provide a sense of variety and will be a chance for your employees to acquire new skills and increase their commitment to the meetings. It is important for the rules of holding a briefing to remain the same, regardless of the individual style of each leader.
- Finish on time!
If you have stated the meeting would take one hour, put the end to it once this hour has passed.
By Ivanina Zaharieva