Meetings are the bane of any corporate structure. Necessary for the company to function, but haphazardly executed, it is a corporate tool that everyone loves to hate. Yet, it is also a tool that is badly misunderstood.
As with any tool, meetings can be effective if executed well. One of the biggest challenges that faces meeting attendees is the myth of multitasking. A common sight in meetings is attendees coming into meetings hurriedly, propping open their laptops and sending out emails while “paying attention”. This often means, nobody is paying attention to anything, sometimes, even the organizer!
Begin Meetings With Intention
Instead, by forcing people to “check in” and “check out”, a pause mechanism is created. This “pause” grants attendees a chance to refocus, specifically on the meeting ahead. Asking people unrelated questions at the beginning of the meeting can feel like a waste of time but this intentional sharing molds the space for everyone by cleaning up the white noise. And, consequently, allows everyone to be more actively present in the meeting.
Ian, from Leadwise Academy, initiated this check in and out process for his team meetings as he found it useful from his personal experience. In the beginning, it was awkward for people to talk about their personal lives, which was separated from their professional lives.
Strong Bonds Build Strong Teams
But as they kept it, they realized that it created an open space for people to be themselves, especially when you have introverts who don’t interact that much. They discovered it brought them closer as a team. In fact, once they got used to this process, it was difficult for the team to go back to a regular meeting format!
Participants found that it helped everyone as there were no distractions, enabling them to switch to a deep listening mode. As an entirely remote team, they realized how much more important this practice was to their team, as it’s very easy to get distracted by other things online.
A Simple, Not Simplistic, Solution
When people bring their full selves and intentionality to the meeting, it creates focus and betters the bond and trust between people. Deliberately carving out a time for checking in and checking out of meetings, creates a natural transition to the details of the meeting, making it an effective way to bring everyone into the meeting before getting to the brass tacks.