A recent article in the Harvard Business Review explored how to make meetings more effective. As an industry where most days start off with a quick meeting to review the day ahead, it seems like the ideas covered in the article are important for dentists to review.

The fundamental challenge of making meetings effective is to, when appropriate, get every person who attends to add something to the experience. There are many cases where a meeting may be more about disseminating information and participation is not required, or even desired. But, meetings also work in more subtle ways – to bring the organization closer together in alignment with a vision or mission. Meetings can also serve to build relationships with and between team members. Meetings also can add to the experience of being a productive, valued member of the group.

Read on for tips on how to make your meetings more effective at team building.

Be present. Come to a meeting prepared so that your entire focus is on the meeting and the team. If you’re running late or still thinking about what to talk about, you’ll be distracted. Being properly prepared will make the entire experience more relaxed and you can pay more attention to the people in the room rather than your notes.

Be empathetic. Paying attention to your team will be interpreted as you. Work at really listening when someone speaks and give thoughtful replies to questions. Demonstrate that you value all the input.

Guide the conversation. Ask someone in the group to actively manage the flow of the meeting. Lay out some general rules to manage interruptions and distractions, such as respecting the speaker, turning off cell phones, managing time, and striving to avoid tangents to the topic.

Don’t rush. If a meeting is important enough to hold, then give it the time and space to be effective. Don’t try to jam too many topics into one session, and make sure that you give everyone a comfortable amount of time to participate (but defer to the meeting guide to stay on topic). Also, work to ensure that everyone who wants to participate has a chance to give their input. Don’t allow the “usual suspects” to dominate.

Extend the invitation to participate. Every meeting should start with an open invitation to bring up issues that may pertain to the general topic of the conversation. Open with “Before we get started, does anyone have anything they would like to bring up?” And then wait for a moment to ensure that people interpret this as a legitimate invitation to speak up.

High-quality meetings with good participation by attendees are valuable for both getting results, and for building friendships and enhancing the environment for easier and more effective collaboration. It bolsters the feeling that “we are all in this together.”

Watch All-Star Dental Academy’s Head Instructor Larry Guzzardo and myself explore the issue of effective meetings in a recent Study Club  (student login required). Click here to view it now.

You can also learn more about leadership and other critical skills in a free online training event, “The All-Star Dental MBA.” Click here to learn more about the webinar and sign up for a time and date that works best for you.

Limited Time: FREE eBook

"The five-star reviews are rolling in and the phones are ringing off the hook!" - Dr. Jennifer Wayer

1. Get QUALITY patients without selling

2. Banish broken appointments

3. Reduce turnover by 25%

You have Successfully Subscribed!