Let’s face it – team meetings can be one of the most important, yet time consuming, qualities of running a business. Keeping constant communication with your team is extremely important, but how can you do so while simultaneously getting work done?
I’ve found the best way to energize the team and unleash creativity is by holding open ‘conversations’ rather than ‘meetings,’ where everyone can be involved. Conversations differ from meetings by being more informal and not as focused on the agenda. At the beginning of a conversation, the outcome is unknown because each person at the table is sparking innovative ideas, leading to an end result way beyond expectations. Here are a few tips for getting the conversation started.
Replace Agenda With Questions – Ditch the PowerPoint and focus on addressing the most critical questions at hand. Don’t be intimidated by questions that don’t have easy, right/wrong answers. Face everything head-on, and utilize the brilliant minds on your team to sort through what may seem daunting.
Invite New People – More than likely, your business is filled with a diverse group of people from different races and age groups. Invite 10-15 people from across the company to join the conversation. Inviting fresh perspectives to the discussion is sometimes exactly what you were missing.
Listen To Employees Interact – It’s in a manager’s blood to want to control the conversation. Instead, try sitting back for 10-minutes to just listen to your team interact and bounce ideas off each other. The information you’ll gain will prove to be invaluable – even if your mouth is shut.
Seat Differently – Instead of the intimidating conference table seating arrangement, ask people to work in clusters. This allows you the opportunity to travel around the room and listen to separate conversations with different ideas.
I highly recommend making the switch to holding conversations. Not only will your employees thank you, but you will be much more pleased with the results.
Has your company held ‘conversations’? Share your tips with us below!