How do you start your meetings? Do you engage meeting participants from the start?
The reason why a lot of employees groan when they find out they have to attend another meeting is because they see it as a waste of time. If you want your meetings to be productive, engaging, and well received, it’s important to start off your meetings right because it sets the tone for the rest of the meeting. A great way to open every meeting is with a check-in.
A check-in consists of asking meeting participants a question or set of questions at the beginning of the meeting. A check-in could be as simple as going around the table to ask everyone how they are feeling. Alternatively, you could also ask each person to share something from the last meeting that has changed or get them to describe what they are currently struggling with. Other ideas include asking where people need help or encouraging them to share a high and a low from their week. Additional sample questions include the following:
When you conduct check-ins, everyone in the room listens to each other and doesn’t get distracted by their phones or other things. Check-ins tend to capture people’s attention since every single person has to speak. This encourages introverts to get over the hump of speaking up at the very beginning of the meeting, so they feel more comfortable contributing to the meeting later on. Check-ins allow you to quickly take the temperature of the room and hear about what’s going on with your colleagues, so you can adjust the way you manage the meeting and guide it in the right direction from the start.
Build Trust and Stronger Relationships at Work
When we understand where people are coming from and see them as three-dimensional beings, it helps us build trust and develop stronger relationships. Having good relationships with colleagues is important because it prevents miscommunication and disputes. We are less likely to jump to negative conclusions about our coworkers or speak poorly of them to others if we know their stories and develop good relationships with them.
It’s no secret that our personal lives have an effect on our focus and general well-being at work. It’s important to let employees know that it’s OK to talk about how they are and how they feel. Vulnerability helps to build trust among team members because it encourages everyone to be their authentic selves. We can’t feel great every single day, and it’s critical to be open with each other so that a person’s behavior isn’t misinterpreted. For example, if you conduct a check-in to see how everyone is feeling at the beginning of a meeting, you will understand the context of why someone may not be present and be able to empathize with it, rather than get frustrated with them for not being focused.
There might be resistance to doing check-ins at your organization. Some people might see it as being “kumbaya” and a waste of time. Your team might not embrace check-ins at first, but if you are patient and give them time to get comfortable with it, they will likely begin to see the value and even look forward to checking in.
In addition to checking in to gauge what people are thinking and feeling at the beginning of a meeting, you can also set up your meeting room signs to allow people to “check in.” This confirms the start of the meeting and ensures that meeting rooms are freed up if the meeting organizer doesn’t show up and check in.
To learn more about the check-in capabilities and other features of Add-On Products’ meeting room booking software and digital signage software, please contact us for a free trial or free online demo.