Are your leadership team meetings merely going through the motions? It’s possible to execute the Level 10 Meeting Agenda and consistently solve issues, yet still fall short of the quality meetings that your leadership team looks forward to every week.
A lot depends on the internal dynamics and external climate of your meetings. Want to take your Level 10 Meetings from effective and tolerated to powerful and enjoyable? Here are eight tips to propel your company meetings.
Find the Right Meeting Day/Time
For some companies, the first thing Monday morning is the best time to meet because it helps the team get started on the right foot. For other organizations, it’s the worst time to meet because client work needs to be addressed immediately. Be sure to find the ideal day and time for your leadership team to hold your Level 10 Meetings.
Agreements are a code of conduct and assumptions that your leadership team has agreed together to abide by during meetings. They help create a positive meeting culture that contributes to honest and healthy communication. For example, your team might agree to:
- No sidebar conversations
- Only essential electronic devices in the meeting
- Assume good intentions from others
- Be prepared for the meeting
- Encourage and welcome differing opinions
Invest in Good Teleconference Tech
Chances are, someone on your team will need to call into the meeting on occasion. There’s nothing that ruins a good meeting faster than flaky teleconferencing equipment. Dropped calls, bad echoes, and choppy sound can make it very difficult to lead an efficient meeting and effectively resolve issues together. Spend the extra money if necessary to invest in high-quality equipment. Your meetings will be much smoother.
Optimize Your Meeting Space
Research shows that even the best meetings feel painful if you’re stuck in an unsightly, uncomfortable room. Make sure your meeting space is comfortable, pleasant, and well-lit. There should be plenty of room around the table and chairs should be comfortable for everyone. Minimize outside distractions as much as possible, and check the thermostat.
When you’re IDSing a tough issue, there is the potential for tension and and emotions to run high. Make it a practice to say thank you to others throughout the meeting—it goes a long way in keeping conversation healthy and amicable. But be sure your thanks are genuine, or it will quickly backfire on you!
Confirm Buy-in from Each Person
When a solution to an issue is proposed and it appears you have agreement, don’t assume silence equals consent. Ask each person at the table if they can support the decision. There’s nothing more poisonous to a company than silent dissention.
…And Cultivate a Safe Environment for Dissenting Opinions
For the previous tip to work, you need to have an environment that’s safe for people to disagree and voice dissenting opinions. Encourage collegial dissention—you may be surprised how often a single outlying viewpoint offers a better solution than the consensus majority!
Create Space for Introverts
Because of the goal to optimize meeting efficiency and solve issues within the Level 10 Meeting, it’s possible for your meetings to favor extroverts, who think on their feet. Introverts tend to sit with their thoughts and turn them over in their minds for a longer time. As a result, you can run the risk of frustrating your team’s introverts or getting lower quality of input from them.
To get the best from the introverts on your leadership team, make the Issues List available to everyone before the meeting so that they can spend time thinking about the issues before you IDS them. Also, create space for thoughtful reflection during the meeting, so that your introverts can process the discussion.
In what ways do your Level 10 Meetings need to improve? Try one or two of these tips at your next meeting. You may be surprised what a difference it makes.