Meetings are the epicenter of a team. However, you can only fully harness their potential when everyone, including yourself, feels free to express themselves. How do you ensure that your team feels free? Here are five quick tips to create more freedom in your team meeting.
Think outside the meeting room
Try holding your meetings at a different location: a nearby bed and breakfast, a heritage site in your town, an outdoor playground, a favorite spot of one of your team members, etc.
Distribute responsibility for functional roles within the team
Assign roles such as goal keeper, process keeper, time keeper, and note-taker to different team members. This ensures that the responsibility isn't solely on the chairperson and gives multiple team members an active role in taking the meeting to the next level.
Break old patterns
Hold your tongue a bit more often, or make an effort to respond to your colleagues with "yes, and" instead of "yes, but." If you tend to sit back quietly and wait for everyone to finish speaking, try interrupting the conversation and asking, for example, "May I add something?"
Create an open start
Start your meeting with a check-in: what do you feel is necessary to share to start this meeting with a sense of freedom?
Allocate time for informal interactions
Reserve a slot on your agenda for creativity and new ideas, to celebrate team achievements, to chat, laugh, or to be flexible and spontaneous in the moment. Promoting a relaxed environment can significantly improve team dynamics.
By applying these simple yet effective tips, you can transform the dynamics of your meeting and create an open work environment. Feel free to take on the challenge and let me know how it goes!