Run Better Meetings by Starting with Small Talk

April 7th, 2016

Are meetings the source of eye rolls and anxiety in your office? Employees often feel like they are a waste of time, and they would be better off working rather than listening in on a meeting. The truth is, meetings run better when people trust each other, so how do you develop that trust? When you create personal connections, you have a means to enhance your meetings in a way that is positive for everyone. The best way to get started is by facilitating small talk between your employees and management. Here are some tips for getting started.

Water cooler philosophy

Every office has a water cooler situation even if they don’t have an actual water cooler. This casual interaction between co-workers has no professional expectation. It is simply about getting to know the people around you in the office and understanding how to work with them better. While you may not think that talking about the latest episode of The Walking Dead or what you did on your vacation can help increase meeting productivity, getting to know others casually absolutely does. No one wants to just come in to work each day and only talk about what’s happening inside the office walls. Create that personal connection to see productivity and engagement increase.

Commonalities between people

This type of conversation sparks a sense of community. Once you know what you have in common with the people around you, it is easier to facilitate the types of things that will enhance teamwork. If you’re on the same page from the start, you will increase communication skills and be able to move forward. All discussions are met with a different attitude, and no one feels that someone is out to get them.

Better cooperation skills

When co-workers have things in common, they are also more likely to be willing to cooperate with each other. They won’t feel like they’re competing for accolades but rather that they are all on the same team. If there is no natural water cooler situation in your office, create it by implementing a few minutes of getting caught up at the beginning of each meeting. Maybe it’s near the coffee pot or in the break area. Let your employees dictate that natural meeting place.

Get down to business

The real key with this tactic is knowing when to stop the idle conversation and move into the business that needs to be accomplished. Never let the small talk become so overwhelming that you are no longer able to get anything done. Cut it off after a few minutes in a natural way to segue into the meeting itself. The worst possible scenario is a 30-minute meeting that features 20 minutes of discussing nothing on the agenda. The leader needs to have a sense of when to get going.

Meador Staffing will help you find the right fit for all of your employment needs. Contact our great team today to get started on working with a leader of staffing services in Texas since 1968.

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