What comes to mind when you think of a meeting? Boredom? Something that interrupts your day and is largely a waste of time?
Things needn't be this way! Meetings should be productive, have clear outcomes and ultimately help projects, careers or companies progress.
So, we asked Headspace for their tips on keeping meetings on track and most of all making them fun.
1. Set the tone
Keep things positive right from the start of the meeting, have a clear agenda and a realistic objective that you want to achieve by the end, set a time limit too so you stick to it.
Avoid the meeting descending into complaints and negativity by starting the meeting with a short starter activity, where everyone has 30 seconds to say something they've achieved in the last week, something they're looking forward to or maybe even just the best/worst joke they've heard. Anything that gets people to focus but also gets a smile or a laugh.
2. Take a break
If you've got a lot to cover in one meeting, it can be tempting to just power through the agenda to save time. What comes out of that meeting is unlikely to be of any use, as humans we can only concentrate on one activity for about 20 minutes.
So, structure your meeting with this in mind, switch topics before they become stale, give people a chance to grab a coffee and refuel or just some fresh air. You're much more likely to achieve your objective, have greater participation and get more creative ideas.
3. Get out of the office
Sometimes a change of scenery can boost those creative juices, we're sat at the same desks and thought-showering in the same meeting rooms every day and that's a sure-fire way to stifle those brilliant ideas.
Co-working space is a great solution. They are usually designed with creativity, simplicity and functionality in mind, all things that are likely to help you have a great meeting. With AV facilities, communal spaces, catering, bars and sometimes even a DJ, you're sure to have a worthwhile meeting. Afterall, your meeting room needs to inspire.
4. Don't be scared of silence
You don't have to talk the whole way through a meeting, we've all been in one where someone insists on hogging the limelight and it can be draining as well as unproductive. If you're leading the meeting, you are the moderator, so move the conversation along and encourage participation from quieter members of the group.
If you're looking for creative ideas or solutions, there is no harm in using tasks that involve silent individual work. It might feel a bit 'classroom' but silence helps you actually think. Think about when your most creative ideas come to you, in bed before you drop off to sleep? On the bus home?
Sometimes silence is golden.
5. Move more
This could be as simple as asking people to get up out of their seats to write something on a whiteboard or stick a post-it note up or using whiteboards for a quiz-type activity (even this gets their hands above their heads at least!).
If you want to get a bit more extreme you could add a few star jumps halfway through to keep people alert, include some yoga or meditation to get participants focused or even just a good-old break to play a game of ping-pong. Any activity that keeps everyone's brain alert will be beneficial and it can be subtle for those meetings that are a little more important than others.
Operating in London and Manchester, Headspace Group offers private office space* and CO-LAB desk space on a month-by-month basis, as well as a variety of event spaces and meeting rooms that are perfect for your next super productive meeting, product launch or yoga class.
*From 4 people, 3 months minimum.