Stop the Boredom

If you dread your team meetings or trainings, your team members likely do too.  As a coach, I’ve observed some really great team meetings and … some really horrible ones.  Here are some lifesaving tips to keep your meetings from experiencing what I call epic boredom and fatal disengagement.  If you incorporate these adult learning principles, you will eliminate people from hiding out in the corner behind a plant, resisting the information you’re presenting, or looking like deer in headlights when you ask for ideas, suggestions, and input.

At LionSpeak, we teach 2-day adult learning virtual workshop called the Trainer’s Den Workshop so there’s lots to learn and share, but here are the top principles that will help you keep these meetings engaging and super productive:

  1. Get Them Talking Seriously, stop doing all the talking. Get your group involved early and often. Introduce an agenda item and create an exercise that puts the group into partnerships or small groups and asks them to list what’s working in this area and what they believe is a challenge or better yet an untapped opportunity. Then, shuffle the group to contribute answers and ideas to the challenges of the other group. Find out what they think they already know about this topic and what they would like to know or solve. Just watch what comes from your team.
  2. Get ‘em moving! Gallery Walks with flipcharts, debriefing with thumb balls, foam dice rolls to decide who goes first or to review a system… any of these get people moving and engaged. Movement interrupts brain fog, wandering thoughts, or disengagement.
  3. Discovery vs. Delivery. People will always believe their own data, discoveries, and conclusions, but they’ll argue with yours all day long—if not outwardly, then often inwardly. Find a way to present opportunities and challenges and then create a way for your team members to “discover” why it’s important to the practice and (most importantly) to them personally. Add on a way to “discover” how they could solve it, what resources they can access, and how it can be applied to the workplace. You can add in your options as well, but it becomes part of the overall “discovery” process. This is what creates buy-in from team members—when they have a hand in the discovery and creation process.
  4. Put friendly competition in the background. Give out paper clips or plastic links for every great question, idea, contribution, or story shared; every laugh created; every volunteer hand raised; every person back on time from break, etc. Give a great prize to the longest chain at the end of the meeting. Or, give a playing card for the same things and have a prize for the winning poker hand at the end of the day. Anything you can do to bring a friendly interaction competition into the background of the meeting will help to keep people involved.

These are just a small fraction of the ways you can up-level your meetings by getting big involvement, fostering important conversations, and pulling out big ideas. If you want dozens and dozens more, then consider sending team leaders to one of our transformational training workshops or bringing a custom workshop into your group.

“It’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”

~ Marilyn Monroe

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