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It is important to decide in advance what parameters and rules might be needed to manage the meeting. For example, think about mobiles/other devices—should they be allowed? If employees are on their phones/PCs, it shows that they aren't really engaged.
Research has shown that the way a meeting starts sets the tone for the whole meeting. Think about opening with a warm-up of positive comments, for example:
name one thing you’ve accomplished since the last meeting that you’ve been proud of
name a person who has helped you since the last meeting
mention one thing you’re looking forward to in the coming week/month
what’s the funniest thing someone has told you in the last week?
mention something really interesting you’ve learned since the last meeting
This sets a much better tone for the rest of the meeting than just diving into the agenda.
You need to create an environment where people are comfortable asking questions and are getting a fair time for responses. Think ahead about how the meeting will keep moving in a constructive way, how to nip any non-verbal ;micro-messages' or negativity in the bud at the outset and how to set a positive tone for the meeting at the outset—and at its closure. Here’s some ideas:
It can be really frustrating when meetings don’t start on time.
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