► 3. Spice up your meetings.
Even though meetings are made for work, many of them do not work. They’re often boring, tedious, and repetitious, as well as a huge waste of time. That’s why one person said, “If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings’.”
I could write a book on how to hold more effective meetings, but for our purposes today, I just want you to think about how you can make your meetings more fun. It could be as simple as bringing treats to share with others or telling a funny story you just heard.
I like humorist Dave Barry’s idea as to how to handle team members who fall asleep in a meeting. He said, “Have everybody leave the room. Then collect a group of total strangers, from right off the street, and have them sit around the sleeping person and stare at him until he wakes up. Then, have one of them say to him, in a very somber voice, ‘Bob, your plan is very, very, risky, but you’ve given us no choice but to try it. I only hope, for your sake, that you know what the heck you’re getting yourself into.’ Then have the strangers file quietly out of the room”
Of course, I’m not recommending Dave’s idea, but it’s fun to think about how it might work. People would never fall asleep in a meeting again.
Bob Nohren from The Energy Conservatory Bike Shop sent me this idea after I spoke at a meeting for his professional association. Bob asked, somewhat tongue in cheek, “Do you keep falling asleep in meetings and seminars? Do you feel tired and unmotivated? Do you find yourself daydreaming of anything and everything during the work day? Well here’s a way to change all of that.”
Before (or during) your next meeting, prepare yourself by drawing a square. Divide the card into columns — five across and five down. That will give you 25 one-inch blocks.
Write such words or phrases in each block.
· Strategic fit
· Core competencies
· Best practice
· Bottom line
· Take that off line
· Out of the loop
· Think outside the box
· Fast track
· At the end of the day
· Touch base
· Client focused
· Game plan
- Check off the appropriate block when you hear one of those words/phrase.
- When you get five blocks horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, stand up and shout “Bull….”
Of course it sounds silly. But does it work? Here’s what a few satisfied “Bull…. Bingo” players have to say.
“I had been in the meeting for only five minutes when I won.” – Jack W., Boston
“My attention span at meetings has improved dramatically.” – David D., Miami
“The atmosphere was tense in the last process meeting as 14 of us waited for the fifth box.” – Ben G., Denver
“The speaker was stunned as eight of us screamed ‘Bull….!’ for the third time in two hours.” – Kathleen L., Atlanta
It would take some guts to actually do it but it would be fun. Go ahead and think of some ways to spice up your meetings.