There are plenty of people who don’t like meetings. They think they are boring and a waste of time. Your meetings need not be either of these, but for the sake of some focus, this article will only address creating more fun.
If you can accomplish what you set out to do and have fun while doing it, you have just created a magical experience. Here are some easy techniques for adding fun to your meeting.
- Take advantage of all the creativity research. Although some people will see it as corny; incorporating toys, colors, music, and movement into your meetings can serve as wonderful creativity stimuli.
- Create drama. It doesn’t take much to “stage” the meeting so that it’s more interesting. A big, ticking timer does wonders in helping the team pay attention to time. Splitting into sub-groups for some friendly competition (e.g. seeing which group generates the most ideas) usually notches up the energy. And there’s nothing like role playing specific scenarios and acting out case studies to put people into a creative mindset. Be ready for some serious grumbling if you try that last one.
- Get comfortable. Creativity is fun and free-flowing. It’s hard to achieve this in a formal environment. Find a comfortable setting, and encourage the participants to dress and act informally.
- Add fresh perspectives. Invite people to the session who have no formal “expertise” in the topic. Rules and assumptions do not limit these folks. Their questions, ideas, and challenges will help uncover dangerous assumptions and push the group to explore uncharted territory.
Of course implementing these ideas will take some effort on your part. While many of us would like to think that fun should emerge spontaneously, I have found that it usually requires some planning. Is the time and energy worth it? Try it and discover the answer for yourself.
Image credit: PhotoAtelier