(Part of The Energy Bar series #12)
People tell me how challenging it is to run meetings and conference calls that get people energized and engaged. So, I started thinking about all of the approaches that I’ve actually seen work. I asked, what are the common elements in successful events as varied as large meetings that engage hundreds of people, small team meetings that accomplish things, teleconferences, and those simple pick up the phone and call someone else exchanges?
I identified six things. Let’s start with two of them:
- People see the need for this event. I continue to be surprised how often people are invited to “events” and have no idea why this topic is worth discussing. (I use event to describe anything we do in an effort to influence others; that could be a meeting of 500 or a short phone call to just one person.)
- The “right people” are invited. I know that some in my field believe that whoever comes are the right people. Maybe, spiritually and morally that’s a good thing, but it’s not how real organizations work. You need people who can make decisions and act. Once you start loading up events with people who have no power to make decisions (and that includes that row of people sitting at back table just watching), then you risk sapping any potential positive work that could result.
I picked these two for this post because they are a great starting point for making events worthwhile. Here is an easy way to see if what I am saying matters. Simply pay attention to the meetings (including phone calls) that you are asked to attend over the next few days. If these events seem to hum along nicely, then ask yourself: do people know why these meetings are important? And, do they know why they were invited to take part? I think you’ll find that those two items matter a lot, and that they are overlooked with surprising regularity.
(BTW, I will cover the other four items in my next two posts )
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Click to see a three-minute animated video on The Energy Bar.