Top 10 Things you Must Do To Make Participants Pay Attention During Meetings
1) Make the meetings shorter – Schedule 15 minutes vs. 30 or 30 vs an hour. I have found people are more engaged if the meetings are shorter.
2) Be crystal clear on what you want to achieve in the meeting and what’s going to happen after the meetings.
3) Explain exactly the role of everyone in the meeting. For example, are they there to help make the decision, provide input, debate an existing idea, brainstorm. Many times people are brainstorming when they should be listening, think they are making the decision vs providing input and they get upset when the outcome is not what they expected.
4) Be the facilitator of the meetings. Make sure you run the meeting and do not let the meeting get into the ditches.
5) Be certain you are inviting the right people and not just making a list to cover your bases. Only invite the people that matter.
6) Develop the habit of finishing meetings early. If people know you run an efficient meeting they are more likely to attend and participate
7) Publish what you learned, decided or next steps after the meeting and thank everyone for participating.
8) Have an important meeting off-site or in a new location.
9) Provide some creature comforts, drinks, coffee, snacks
10) And finally the big one. Shut off the devices. At least during the part of th meeting where people have to listen to one another. Just simply tell people to have lids down, phones on the table and tablets turned over. If you really want to make the point, have all the devices left at the door.