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Bad meetings suck, but great meetings can change the whole game. So, do you want to know how to run a meeting in a killer way? How do you keep people’s attention and avoid death by meeting? Let’s go through these steps one by one. 

Step One: Prepare

This might seem like a simple adage—everyone says to prepare for the meeting—but I’m being really serious. It’s not just about listing out an agenda, deciding what to talk about, or sending out invites. You need to ask yourself, “How can I create an impact for the people attending?” What is the main point we’re discussing? What is the outcome we want? How can I get people to engage in that topic? Structure the meeting so that attendees feel it was worth their time.

Importance of Having a Purpose

Your meeting must have a purpose. Meetings done right can change the game. They’re essential to your business, but they need a clear, articulated purpose. If a meeting is on the schedule simply because it’s supposed to happen, rethink it. People should know the value of attending; otherwise, they’ll mentally check out. If you state the purpose clearly, attendees will understand its importance and be more engaged.

Importance of Targeting the Outcome

Don’t let the meeting wander off into unrelated topics. Focus on the desired outcome from the beginning. For example, “Today, we’re going to find a way to hit the milestone for level three.” This clear goal lets everyone know the meeting’s objective and encourages the team to contribute towards achieving it.

Different Types of Meetings in an Organization

There are different types of meetings: connection meetings, regular meetings, work sessions, and briefings. Connection meetings are for one-on-one engagement and deeper conversations. Regular meetings need a clear purpose and focus, with no distractions. Work sessions allow for individual work and occasional engagement. Briefings are for disseminating information, where listening is key. Recognize the type of meeting you’re in and be present and engaged accordingly.

How to Grab People’s Attention in a Meeting

First impressions count. In the first few seconds, attendees decide if the meeting will be valuable or a waste of time. Start with something engaging: a crucial decision to be made, an important milestone to discuss, etc. This grabs attention and sets the tone for the meeting.

Importance of Having Healthy Conflict

Conflict is essential for a productive meeting. It drives engagement and brings up real issues. Encourage opinions and disagreements to find the best solutions. Avoid meetings where everyone just agrees without discussion—those meetings don’t lead to progress.

Importance of Having the Right Order/Sequence

Structure the meeting efficiently. Address items that require the input of only a few participants early on so they can leave if necessary. Longer discussions should be at the end. This keeps the meeting flowing and respects everyone’s time.

How to Keep People Engaged in a Meeting

Engagement is key. Include some fun elements: shout-outs, jokes, or short video snippets. Recognize good behavior and gently call out bad behavior. Make the meeting interesting to keep people attentive and involved.

How to Encourage Participation in a Meeting

Actively seek participation. Engage attendees by asking questions and involving them in discussions. This ensures they process and retain information better. Measure the interaction level rather than just the meeting duration. Use real questions to keep the energy high and the meeting interactive.

How to Make Meetings Relevant

Ensure the meeting is impactful and results in actionable outcomes. Curate the experience with relevant handouts, visuals, and presentations. Attendees should leave feeling it was worth their time and that they gained valuable insights or information.

Importance of Asking for Feedback

End each meeting with a plus-delta session: what went well and what could be improved. This feedback helps refine future meetings, making them more effective. Encourage honest input and use it to enhance the meeting structure and content.

Learn More About Meetings

Meetings are essential for aligning your team and driving success. A well-run meeting can replace hours of individual conversations and reduce chaos. If someone prefers to avoid meetings, they likely haven’t experienced a well-structured, impactful meeting. Invest time in perfecting your meeting strategy to ensure they are clear, engaging, focused, and productive. For more insights, check out the book “Death by Meeting.” Implement these strategies, and you’ll run meetings that people actually want to attend.

If you want to learn more we have:

-Takt Virtual Training: (Click here)
-Check out our Youtube channel for more info: (Click here) 
-Listen to the Elevate Construction podcast: (Click here) 
-Check out our training programs and certifications: (Click here)
-The Takt Book: (Click here)

Discover Jason’s Expertise:

Meet Jason Schroeder, the driving force behind Elevate Construction IST. As the company’s owner and principal consultant, he’s dedicated to taking construction to new heights. With a wealth of industry experience, he’s crafted the Field Engineer Boot Camp and Superintendent Boot Camp – intensive training programs engineered to cultivate top-tier leaders capable of steering their teams towards success. Jason’s vision? To expand his training initiatives across the nation, empowering construction firms to soar to unprecedented levels of excellence.

On we go!