Next week I have 6 meetings on my calendar and I’ll only be in the office for 3 days! Unless you work alone, you probably have weeks where you feel like it’s one meeting after another. It’s easy to zone out and get stuck in the same old rut.
When I am planning or leading a meeting, there are a few things I've found that can turn a meeting from ho-hum to fun. It will take you more time but the added creativity and energy that you can spark in your team will be worth it.
1) Plan ahead! Put the time in to really think through how you want your meeting to run. Come prepared with a list of outcomes and an agenda. If possible, send out the topics and list ahead of time so your attendees can start thinking in advance. For example, next week I’m holding a Men’s Retreat brainstorming session and I sent all the attendees 4 areas I want them to think about: stage décor, man game events, session openers, and workshops.
2) Create atmosphere. Great ways to do this are by using music, props, costumes, toys and decorations. When planning a spy-themed retreat we listened to the James Bond soundtrack, wore paper mustaches and were assigned code names.
|In disguise with Paige, a camp apprentice.|
3) Set boundaries. If you are brainstorming then any idea goes! Write everything down even if it seems ridiculous or impossible. Rather than stop to list why it would never work, capture it. Sometimes the craziest most impossible ideas will lead to a unique and possible idea. If you are not in the brainstorming phase but rather focusing on what you've already decided and outlining the details then work to limit rabbit trails and stay on topic rather than continuing to add to it.
|Write everything down, even if it seems impossible or ridiculous.|
4) Take breaks and have fun! Play a game, stretch, go outside or do a brain teaser with your group. A list of ideas can be found at http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Creative under ‘creative exercises’.
As the Program Manager at Grace Adventures, I run a lot of brainstorming meetings and planning meetings for our different camps and retreats. I've found that when I look at our meetings as another event to program our results are almost always more exciting and innovative.
What would it look like for you to re imagine your meeting style in your work environment? Even if you aren't planning glow dodge ball tournaments and camper schedules, look for a way to use these tips to bring new life into your organization. You may be surprised at the results!
This article, http://www.churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/157962-18-rules-for-creative-meetings.html?p=1 has a lot of great tips for leading creative meetings. Check out numbers 4, 7, 11, 13 and 17, these are tips that we've put into practice at Grace Adventures and recommend for you to check out as well.