16 Simple Ways You Can Lead Engaging Meetings

Engaging meetings are like snow in summer. We’re better than this.

Plan for engagement if you want engaging meetings.

Engaging meeting are never an accident. Image of an antique car with broken wheel.

16 Ways to Lead Engaging Meetings:

  1. Have a junior member of the team lead the meeting. Help them prepare. Discuss facilitation skills and throw them into the deep end of the pool.
  2. Assign each agenda item to a team member. Their job is to introduce the topic and lead the discussion.
  3. Prepare people to engage. Add a discussion question to each agenda item. (This tip came from the comments on one of my posts.)
  4. Share the agenda in advance.
  5. Eliminate unnecessary participants. The larger the group the easier it is to not participate.
  6. Divide large teams into small groups for discussion. Ask each small group to report potential action items after their discussion.
  7. Remember questions that begin with ‘don’t’ or ‘do’ call for short answers. “Don’t you agree,” doesn’t create conversation.
  8. Ask questions that begin with ‘what’ or ‘how’.
  9. Ask an individual on the team, “What’s coming to mind for you?”
  10. Create urgency by shortening the meeting.
  11. Begin with a moment of humanity. Tell each participant what their name means in a foreign language, for example.
  12. Seize an opportunity instead of fixing a problem. Ask each person to bring an untapped opportunity to discuss.
  13. Identify and choose a small action step.
  14. Create accountability. “In our next meeting please plan to report on the specific actions you took to move this agenda forward.” Be sure to identify, discuss, and commit to specific actions during the meeting.
  15. Interrupt bloviators. Have a speed round. Everyone has 30 seconds to make one suggestion.
  16. Define problems in terms of behaviors. “What are people doing/not doing to cause this issue?”

How might managers lead engaging meetings?

Lights in hand I'm a huge fan of spontaneity, but spontaneity is not an excuse for lack of preparation.