Thursday, December 12, 2013

Tip 1 of 7 Tips for effective meetings

First, decide if the meeting is really necessary.

Create more one-on-one discussions rather than traditional meetings to improve your leadership communication.

Two-way communication is an essential leadership communication policy. Top down communication (one-way) is just sending messages, quite a different matter from communication, which involves feedback (two-way).

Many surveys show employees want information face-to-face. Here’s how:

1.    Meet one-to-one with your staff and team leaders
2.    Have discussions in small groups
3.    Explain decisions or changes and seek feedback
4.    Even better, ask for input before decisions are made as often as possible
5.    Find out the burning issues of your team; ask questions and listen

Allow employees to make decisions about their work. According to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology study, autonomy is the biggest motivator for employees. Give people the freedom to do their jobs. Shared decision-making leads to quicker reactions with customers, which customers value highly, especially if they have a problem.

Another big motivator is to allow people to improve their jobs. At the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), leaders were asked to value their activities on a scale of 1-10. They were then asked to eliminate low-value activities and focus on those of high value.

More than 30 years ago I remember a Dow USA president who asked all employees to stop non-essential work activities. One example involves reports. Often people are asked to do reports for a very good reason. Later the reports may no longer be needed, but the word doesn’t get out. A good way to find out if a report is still needed is to do the report and not distribute it. If no one notices it is missing, it is no longer needed. Stop doing it.

Use these simple and easy ways to implement ideas to improve communication and productivity in your organization. You will not only improve meetings and communication, you will make your job as leader much more satisfying.

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