Innovative Ways to Maintain Focus During Meetings
Monday, May 16, 2016
We all remember what spring term felt like when we were in school: a little agonizing. Summer fun was waiting just around the corner and we had to find the willpower to finish up the work at hand, despite the constant invitation of the clear blue skies and soft green grass just outside the classroom window.
Sometimes when you’re conducting a meeting during the spring, it can feel like you’re a teacher nudging distracted students towards the end of the term.
But with some innovative thinking, your job of encouraging your group to get things done—regardless of the beautiful weather outside—can be a little easier.
Start Outside the Box
Set aside the first few minutes of your next meeting for a lightening round of question and answer. Ask a question unrelated to the meeting topic that will get people to leap outside of their comfort zones: something fun, thought provoking, and vaguely personal (but not too personal, and never political), like “Who inspires you?” or “What is one memory you have from kindergarten?”
Bring on the Doodles
Set out coloring books, scratch pads, and colorful pens and markets and invite everyone at your meeting to draw or color. There’s plenty of research that says doodling and coloring actually helps people focus on what’s being said and to come up with new, creative ideas.
Choose an Odd Start and End Time
Shake things up right off the bat by starting and ending your meetings at unusual times. Try scheduling a weekly meeting at 9:07 and ending at 9:57 one week and then meet from 10:13 to 11:09 the next. Most people will arrive at least mildly intrigued about your playful scheduling tactics.
Take your meeting outside, to a sports court, or to a unique location. Simply changing the surroundings can have a profound impact on a group’s attention. Being in a new environment naturally heightens our awareness, lending more focus to what’s happening, what’s being said, and what’s expected of us.
Sing Them Out
Break into song or set your phone to play music over a portable speaker as soon as the meeting is scheduled to end. Choose something fun to send everyone off on a high note, and turn the volume up loud enough so that it would be difficult for anyone to keep talking and cause the meeting to run over.
Tell us your tips and tricks for keeping team members on task and engaged during meetings. We would love to hear from you!
You can also call us to find out more about why moving your meetings offsite to a creative space like the meeting rooms at Blue Ocean can help your team generate new ideas, come up with creative solutions, and collaborate in innovative ways. Call our office today to set up a tour or schedule a meeting: 513-842-6323.