Allowing for a short amount of time to give our minds and bodies a little time to adapt can be pretty easy to do and can pay off in big dividends. Here are a couple of quick ways to get your whole team ready for a meeting in a fun and useful way.
Discuss Current Events
By taking 60 seconds and asking a question or two about current news or stories, you can let people begin engaging one another in a very comfortable way. Opinions and reactions can arise and be lightly debates, creative ideas can be shared, and critical thinking can be exercised in some non-crucial domains. This sets the stage for your team members to begin using all of the cognitive functions they will need for your meeting, but in a lighthearted, “warm up” fashion.
Try it out at your next meeting. Bring in a few pieces of news or tidbits of information that you find interesting, and let you and your team spend a minute or two tossing the ideas around the room. When its time to get down to business, your team will be prepared to do their best.
Start your Meeting with a Smile
This one is a little dangerous, because not everyone’s sense of humor is the same, and not everyone is comfortable with a joke that flops. Nevertheless, a good piece of humor can help breakdown any tensions that might have built up over looming deadlines or client pressures.
If an appropriate cartoon can be found that makes light of a situation your team finds themselves in, make it the first slide of your presentation. A humorous new story can also be a good bit leading content, as long as you aren’t promoting schadenfreude or inviting cynicism. The important thing to focus on here is getting people in the room comfortable with one another and their environment, and finding a little common ground to build from .