Even the best-planned meetings can overrun, and sometimes it can seem like they will simply never end. When they finally do, you may find that you still don’t have all of the answers you were hoping for. Plus, your staff might be left feeling like they have wasted time and your entire team will feel deflated.
Project meetings are a necessary evil, but they can all too quickly go off tangent. Training courses for project managers can give you the basics, but putting them into practice effectively can be another matter. Here are five of the things that you really should never say in a project meeting if you want to ensure it stays on track and as professional as possible.
Don’t use nicknames
It may come as second nature but referring to your team members in a meeting as “dude”, “man”, or anything other than their actual names could create problems. What you perhaps think of as friendly could come across as demeaning or as though you have favourites in the team.
Call everyone by their first names; it’s polite and respectful, and cuts out any potential issues.
Don’t play the blame game
You shouldn’t blame an individual member of your team or take the blame yourself when holding meetings. Pointing the finger is, unfortunately, something that too many managers feel the need to do when something goes wrong. You should always avoid playing the blame game.
If you are trying to create an environment that is connected and continually innovating, then it is important never to single out individuals. It is important that you work as a team. After all, your successes and your failures are what help to work collaboratively well into the future.
Don’t put people on the spot
The pressure of being put on the spot to answer a question is something that many of us will remember from school, and it can be just as bad as an adult. If you are looking for input from your team members, allow those who have something to say, but don’t put those who appear to have nothing to say on the spot. If your team is made up of the right type of people who work well together, then you really shouldn’t need to.
Don’t shut down any bad ideas
One thing Parallel Project Management Training say happens commonly in meetings is an issue from people who don’t really know how to dismiss ideas that perhaps are not really worth developing further. It might seem too simple to say it but don’t simply shut these “bad” ideas down. Most of us are guilty of this one.
Treat every idea that comes to the table with the respect and consideration that it should be given but do not make the person whose idea it felt like it wasn’t worth your time. If you do this, then people may just stop sharing ideas.
Don’t interrupt, but be succinct
Interrupting can really ruin a team’s ability to communicate. A good project leader should be able to listen, not just talk. And when they talk, they need to do so succinctly, setting an example to those who may be prone to ‘rambling’ a little. Above all, be straight with them. Loaded sentences are not great and will only serve to create scenarios that could become over-analysed long after the meeting has finished.
Are you guilty of interrupting, or blaming others in a meeting environment? Perhaps you could look at changing your strategy to better engage your team in project meetings going forward.