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Effective Staff Meetings

       Your Guide to Effective Staff Meetings

Bad staff meetings are not just a complete waste of time, they are the actual agony of any manager's reality. However, for a company, a project or a team to operate successfully, it’s vital for people to meet, pool their expertise, exchange ideas, create new strategies etc.

The main reason staff meetings go bad is the lack of a good process. Traditionally meetings had a fixed, static framework with one person chairing the meeting and the rest of the participants sitting passively, hiding behind big tables and piles of paperwork.  No wonder people dragged attending.

Shifting the meeting framework from “chaired” to “facilitative” is the first step towards effective staff meetings. The way a meeting is facilitated makes the difference in its quality and creates the foundation for an active process of discussions during which participants actively contribute, exchange expertise, feel valued and are part of the decisions made at meetings.

Tips and techniques on how to make meetings participatory!

Don’t just Brainstorm - Brainstorm Effectively

The true meaning of brainstorming is about a number of people getting stimulated to come up with ideas or recommendations, no matter how trivial or unrealistic they may be. Ideas and recommendations are not judged, criticised or analyzed at all, allowing people the space for  creativeness and innovations. A comfortable, flexible, easy-going environment will encourage people to ‘bounce suggestions around’.

Keep notes of every single idea, alternative, decision etc. that the group comes up with - even if it seems farfetched or not practical.  These ideas may help inspire new solutions. List them all in a flipchart and at the end of the brainstorming session revisit them and see if people have more feasible ideas.

Maintain an organic flow of the session without imposing ideas or limiting their amount.

Maintain a non-threating, healthy environment at all times.  


Visualisation makes conveying information simpler and also more unforgettable. It cannot substitute verbal or written however it enhances it. 83% of our information absorption occurs through our eyes. Meetings supported by visualisation and facilitation usually do not need tables; people are expected to be ready to stand up and move around comfortably, focusing on the common visualisation centre and on relating to each other. If they note their own contributions to the common subject on cards and pin them to the wall, they even actively do something on their own. Here people move and meet. The meeting is a literal meeting: an encounter.

Quick tips for effective staff meetings!

 Lose the chairperson - become a facilitator

 Lose the tables - let people sit in a circle without physical barriers

 Loose the speech - and allow everyone to voice their opinions

 Prepare well-ahead; identify a facilitation style and the tools and techniques to facilitate each topic.

 Always maintain your calm. Keep in mind - manage through showing courtesy.

 Be ready for the worst case scenario!

 Don’t get issues personally. 

 Don’t let conversations get personal.

 Don’t be over-organised - be flexible 

Related Articles - Effective Staff Meetings:

Effective Meetings

Effective Business Meetings

Return from Effective Staff Meetings to Effective Meetings

Outstanding Leaders consider themselves a work in progress
 Dr Franklin C. Ashby 

lead and learn

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