Have you run meetings where no one actively participates? Where no one voices an opinion or asks a question? Where you just get lots of blank gazes, empty nods and half smiles?
Not all meetings are necessary, some can be run as a huddle and others need to be the traditional presentation, minus the empty nods and half smiles. In those circumstances, you can use a group goal list to get everyone more engaged. Do it through this simple three step process:
STEP 1 – EACH PERSON’S GOAL
At the start of your meeting, give people a thirty second overview of what you will be talking about. Then ask, “For this to be a productive meeting, what do I need to make sure I address?” Have the first person say one objective in response. Write it on a whiteboard for everyone to see. Put the name of the person next to their objective on the whiteboard.
Then ask the next person to share one thing they want, and write it down. Do this with each person in the room. Go around again to see if there are more things to add to the list.
STEP 2 – CONSOLIDATE THE LIST
Once you have written down all the objectives, consolidate any duplicate objectives. For example one person may say “We need to figure out the schedule for this project,” and another may say “I need to know when we are getting started on the project.” This can be consolidated to “Provide all scheduling details.” As you consolidate the meeting objectives, make sure the people in the meeting agree to the consolidation. Be sure to put both the names next to the new consolidated objective.
STEP 3 – CONFIRM AS EACH OBJECTIVE IS ACCOMPLISHED
With all the objectives documented for the group to see, you may start talking. As you address the objectives in your presentation, you will cross it off. But, before you cross it out ask the person(s) if you fully addressed their objective. If not, ask them what else they need and provide it to them. If you have addressed their objective, cross it on out.
This simple process shows each person in the meeting that you are there to serve them, that their needs matter and that their input is valuable. And that is exactly what gets people more engaged. Say goodbye to blank stares, half smiles and the occasional sleeping drool factory.