Masterful Meetings at American Income Life
How many meetings do you conduct or attend each week? Do you ever find yourself saying “I don’t want to go to this meeting?” Have you ever wonder why you say that? More importantly, have you ever wondered if people say this about your meetings? It may be a good time to do a little inspection of the meetings you conduct.
Here are a few things you might to ask yourself about the meetings you hold:
- Do you have 100% attendance to all of your meetings?
- Are people always early or at least on time to your meetings?
- Do you have people wanting to participate in your meetings?
- Do you have people asking constructive questions in your meetings?
- Does everyone take notes during your meetings?
- Do you never see anyone with their arms folded during your meetings?
If you can answer “yes” to all of those questions, there’s a good chance you are conducting good meetings. If not, you may want to consider looking into revamping your meeting skills.
Here’s the bottom lines to meetings…people have to want to be there…they have know that they will benefit from having attended. In other words, they have to be able to take something of value from your meeting. Someone needs to feel like they have traded their time for something that helps them. If they attend just because they’re required to…you may have an issue.
Here are a few simple tips to make sure you are conducting effective meetings:
- Have a purpose for the meeting…Why are you holding this meeting? Perhaps it could be to teach and train a certain material subject. It might be to give special recognition or to inspire and motivate your organization. Once you have a purpose for the meeting…the planning of it becomes fairly easy.
- Have an objective for the meeting…What do you want to get out of the meeting? You will have several people captive for an hour or more. What do you want to accomplish as a result of holding this meeting? Could it be a record weekend of ALP? Maybe an all-time record recruiting week? Whatever it is…be sure you can look back and see if your meeting helps you achieve your objective.
- Create a special environment…Is there something special about your meeting space? Do you have music playing? Special signs or charts just for the meeting? If you want something special out of your meeting, you have to make the meeting itself special. It helps to have a special meeting environment. Maybe you even hold the meeting in a different location than normal, especially if you want a different outcome form the meeting.
- Have an agenda…a written agenda. What will you cover? When will you cover it? Being well planned for your meeting keeps you on track and avoids straying from the stated purpose and objective of the meeting. There’s nothing worse than getting off track and wasting valuable time. Be professional.
- Start on time…Starting late diminishes the importance of your meeting and tells those in attendance that you don’t care. Remember, we’re taking someone else’s time here…let’s be considerate of that and start on time (and end on time as well).
- Give Recognition…Make sure you give proper recognition to anyone who deserves it. It could be that someone just had a record week or weekend, or maybe a promotion. Bonus earners and bonus checks are always great recognition. Just be sure you give the recognition and share the good news. People love it!
- Get participation…Make sure you involve everyone at the meeting. It’s good for them, and it forces them to pay attention and make sure they know what’s going on. Make sure they know they have a speaking part.
- Encourage note taking…This is one area that we need to coach people on…repeatedly. We all know that humans retain information many times longer if they write it down. I recently read that you will retain written information even longer if you use blue ink. Who knows? I do know note taking is critical to the growth and development of all people. Make it a habit.
- Get Individual and Team Objectives…There’s nothing more important than getting objectives from those in attendance at your meeting. What do they want to accomplish as a result of attending your meeting? How will they do it? So right before you close the meetings…find out what each individual will do before the next meeting. Perhaps an ALP objective, as well as an objective for collected referrals, and one for appointments? This is critical.
- Close on a high note…End your meeting with something special. It maybe a short inspirational video, a motivational story, or an actual event that has inspired others. You can even share a quote of some sort and see what it means to others. End the meeting with lifted spirits and high expectations.
When you consider the amount of time we ask people to be in a meeting, it’s truly critical that we conduct a meeting that is worthy of others’ time and that we give them something of value.
Obviously, these aren’t the only things that go into a great meeting…but these are the basic fundamentals. Start here and make sure you’re on your game when it comes to meetings and I’ll bet you’ll see the seats full, and you’ll also see a happier, more productive organization. That’s what we’re all after.