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Published on January 5th, 2015 | by Nancy F. Clark

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How To Kick-Start Your Meetings With More Joy

By David J. Pollay—

Do you want to bring more joy into your company? One place to start is the way you begin your meetings.

Many people come to meetings in the mood of their last call, personal interaction, email they read, or meeting they attended.  Their moods and attention are basically tied up in other things.

The key is to get everyone engaged in your meeting.  So consider doing something different at the outset.  It’s what I’ve been doing for years in my team meetings, and what I’ve been advising my clients to do as well.  It will not cure people’s fear or dread of meetings, but it will help you get your meetings off to a better start.  Begin your meetings with what I call “positive updates.”

Here’s how to do it.
Ask your meeting participants to share one positive thing that happened to them recently or since the last time you met.  It can be personal or professional.  It can be something they’re excited about, proud of, or interested in.  Tell them they have thirty – sixty seconds to give their update.  Then go around the room sharing positive updates. Encourage quick reactions from the group, but save the extended responses for after the meeting.

As I write about in my book, The 3 Promises: Find Joy Every Day. Do What You Love. Make A Difference, research demonstrates that experiencing more positive emotion at work leads to better outcomes in business and in life. By creating the opportunity for team members to authentically generate their own positive emotion, you are kick-starting your meetings with more joy.

Here are 7 other reasons why this approach is powerful:

  1. You are focusing your team members’ attention. You are engaging them with your request to share.
  2. You are reminding them to keep track of what’s going well in their lives, not just what’s wrong.
  3. You are helping them access their positive emotions. When they recall something good that happened in their lives, they are likely to feel joy, pride, excitement, gratitude, enthusiasm, encouragement, or optimism.
  4. You are learning about your team members. You are opening a window into what matters to them and what makes them unique.  What brings them joy? What makes them happy? When do they succeed? The most important source of happiness today may be the person sitting next to you.
  5. You get insight into what they like to do and what they’re good at doing. You can look for more opportunities for them to do what they do well.
  6. You’ll know how to better recognize your people. You’ll find out what matters to them in their short updates.  You’ll know how to better tailor your gratitude to what they care about.
  7. You’ll give your team members the opportunity to learn more about each other. You’ll provide the opening for teammates to talk about each others’ interests and what matters to them.

Depending on the size of the group, all of this happens in approximately five minutes.  The great thing is that you don’t have to come up with a big entertaining way to start every meeting.  Just ask people to tell each other something positive.  They’ll share.  Team members will listen.  Everyone will be engaged. And you’ll have created an opportunity to inject more joy into your meetings and your business.

 

David J. Pollay is committed to helping people live fulfilling lives every day at work and at home through his writing, coaching and speaking. His latest book, The 3 Promises: Find Joy Every Day. Do What You Love. Make a Difference, is performing as well as his previous book, the international blockbuster, The Law of the Garbage Truck®: How to Respond to People Who Dump on You and How to Stop Dumping on Others, now translated into thirteen languages. Find out more about David at www.davidpollay.com.

Nancy Clark is CEO of PositivityDaily and Director of Forbes WomensMedia. She coaches companies and executives in business skills with the added benefit of training in positive psychology and happiness -- incorporating the latest scientific studies on changing brain patterns and habits. Clark believes that positivity is the next necessary step to engage employees.

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About the Author

Nancy Clark is CEO of PositivityDaily and Director of Forbes WomensMedia. She coaches companies and executives in business skills with the added benefit of training in positive psychology and happiness -- incorporating the latest scientific studies on changing brain patterns and habits. Clark believes that positivity is the next necessary step to engage employees.



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