If you were to ask your members this question, what might you expect to hear? Perhaps:
“I want to quickly make sense of the meeting and what I can contribute.”
“I want the space to share my view in the meeting.”
“I want to know I’m making a difference.”
If this sounds about right, here’s what you can do to help them to engage, before, during and after your meetings:
In advance: Warm-Up
Send three questions, relevant to the meeting.
That help your people to prepare their thoughts.
Involve the questions in the meeting.
During: Create Interaction
Make spaces at the beginning, middle and end:
Begin: with something that gets everyone to speak and into the meeting.
Pause in the middle: invite inputs, keep everyone together.
End: with final thoughts. And what will happen next, leading to….
After: Point to the Future
Say a ‘thank you’ for their contributions.
A confirmation of next steps, ‘who’s doing what’. Yours and theirs.
And the date of the next meeting.
It’s understandable if your members don’t arrive at a meeting in an engagement ready state. They’ve got a lot on their plates right now. Taking the time to help them bring their best to the table, will help you and them get more from their time and efforts.
In the spirit of this piece, what do you think? What’s worked for you? What’s missing? Get in touch and let me know.