3 Ways to Rev Up Your Meeting Mojo

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11.01.2011By
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How do you inspire giving? From the inside-out! One way to get started is by doing a meeting makeover. When it comes to “meetings,” people don’t exactly start jumping with joy. In fact, a lot of people think meetings are a waste of time. This doesn’t need to be the case. Here are three different ways you can use meetings to help inspire and encourage your teams:

Did Someone Say Black Jack?

To some dismay, this does not literally mean you should whip out a game of black jack at the office (sorry). Instead, implement black jack meetings. These are 21-minute meetings–on the dot. Some people also refer to them as 22-minute-meetings, but let’s be honest–that’s not as much fun to say.

Black jack meetings are great for status updates, team meetings, planning meetings and even quick brainstorms. There are some quick rules: no cellphones, tablets, or computers allowed. Attention should be on the meeting, the task at hand, and the people involved (shocker!). Start on time and deliver any pre-reading materials three days before hand.

BONUS: Seattle Ignite 9 video on the 22-minute meeting.

Time to Take a Stand?

Instigate scrum meetings. “Scrum” started out as more of a product management approach often used in software development and engineering, but its uses have expanded into general project management. This is especially true when it comes to designing effective meetings using the daily scrum meeting format.

These meetings occur daily and act as a status check-in and requires all participants to be standing–preferably in a circle. The goals of the stand up meeting focus on GIFTS: kicking off the day with a Good start, identifying ways to Improve, inspiring Focus, emphasizing the Team, and Sharing knowledge on the status of tasks. During the meeting, each team member answers three questions:

  1. What have you done since yesterday?
  2. What are you planning to do today?
  3. Do you have any problems that would prevent you from accomplishing your goal?

Meetings must start on time, preferably, at an odd time like 8:37 or 9:08 and last only about 15 minutes. To encourage this, the last person who shows up to the meeting is the first to talk. To help facilitate, there is a ScrumMaster who is accountable for removing any barriers to achieving the team’s goal. It’s important to note that the ScrumMaster is not the team leader but acts as a buffer to keep the team united and the focus on the task at hand. Some, also refer to the ScrumMaster as the servant leader.

BONUS: Scrum Stand up Meeting Guide

How Do You Find Inspiration?

Sometimes, you might not be able to accomplish what you need in 15, 21, or 22-minute meetings. However, just because you have a longer meeting, doesn’t mean you can’t liven it up. Here are just a few more ways to amp up your meeting’s energy:

  1. Share brain busters. Depending on the amount of people present, let each person get 60 second to describe something they’ve learned in the past week, why it’s important to them, and how it will help them in their work. This helps create a culture of participatory learning and collaboration.
  2. Open with a video. For example, if you are having a meeting about leadership, show a clip that showcases leadership to jumpstart the discussion.
  3. Make meeting agendas interesting. When you plan your meeting, everything matters. It’s not just what you say and how you say it, it’s where you say it and the context clues around you. Most meetings have an agenda. Use the agenda as a tool to complement the meeting. For example, you can provide inspirational quotes or data points that reflect the purpose of the meeting.

BONUS: 16 Ways to Jump Start Your Group’s Creativity

How do you amp up your meetings? Share your tips below!