By Lisa Girard
Tip: Use the past as a platform for understanding and planning future actions, not "a battering ram to beat people up," Bradt says. The collective brainpower in the room should be used to avoid mistakes going forward.
5. Meetings that disrupt the most productive hours. Many companies hold meetings in the morning, interrupting employees' most productive hours, says Jackie Freiberg, co-author of Nanovation: How a Little Car Can Teach the World to Think Big and Act Bold (Thomas Nelson, 2011).
Tip: Schedule meetings in the afternoon, when escaping the cubicle can be a welcome relief.
6. Meetings that are held in a bland environment. At the vast majority of meetings, employees gather around a conference table and keep their gaze focused on the leader at the head of the table. Freiberg believes this format does little to stimulate discussion and creative ideas.
Tip: Take your employees on a "walking" meeting in the park or just around the building and parking lot. "When you're not eye to eye, you have the guts to say certain things," Freiberg says. "And when walking, you look at the world differently, which stimulates fresh ideas."
7. Meetings that are too formal and rigid. Few meeting leaders have a sense of humor. The result is a room full of bored, restless employees, says Eric Chester, author of Reviving Work Ethic (Greenleaf Books, 2012).
Tip: Break up the meeting with music, a video, jokes or an engaging story, Chester says. "In the age of YouTube and iTunes, there's simply no reason to not inject a bit of levity in a meeting to gain attention, disarm negativity and generate enthusiasm