Year-end meetings don’t have to be a drag with glazed eyes and clock-watching employees. A few extra breaks, a good stretch and a bit of silence can go a long way and possibly get the staff laughing instead of groaning.
Chief Happiness Officer Alexander Kjerulf offers 5 tips that may seem weird, but could help your next meeting feel more productive and energized.
1. Open with a positive round.
Psychological experiments show the way a meeting starts sets the tone for the entire meeting. Instead of starting with the bad, pump up the positive.
Kjerulf writes the best way to start a meeting “is to ask each participant to briefly (= less than 30 seconds) share something positive.”
- Name one thing you’ve accomplished since the last meeting that you’ve been proud of?
- Name a person who has helped you since the last meeting.
- Mention one thing you’re looking forward to in the coming week/month?
- What’s the funniest thing someone has told you in the last week?
- Mention something interesting you’ve learned since the last meeting.
2. Interrupt the meeting regularly
It’s easy to feel hard-pressed to stick to a schedule in order to get everything done in time. But regular breaks could keep the creativity flowing the entire meeting.
Kjerulf writes, “a five-minute break every hour is not an option, it’s mandatory! You can’t have a productive meeting if half the people present are seriously in need of a restroom visit.”
Along with the bathroom break, offer a 2-minute creative break every half hour. You can lead a stretch, have a rock-paper-scissors tournament or ask everyone to share a joke with their neighbor. No matter what it is, just make it fun and light-hearted.
3. No table necessary
Tables don’t have to be the gathering place for a meeting.
Table-less meetings, Kjerulf explains, offers people the chance to move around, allows communication to flow, and puts everyone the same distance apart. Simply put the required number of chairs in a circle with nothing in a middle, except maybe a jar for the ping pong ball toss during that 2-minute creative break.
4. Get the body in there
Sitting still for long periods of time can make your body stiff and tired. A tired body also means a tired mind.
To avoid the slump, get everyone to stand up, hop on one foot, stretch to the ceiling, lean left and lean right. It just takes a minute and it will get the blood flowing.
It may seem odd when you have limited time to get things done to take a moment and say nothing. But saying nothing after a deep discussion can offer a chance to digest what’s been said and possibly generate ideas to continue the conversation.
Need help planning your year-end meeting? Reach out to your Acendas advisor today for help in making plans and booking travel.