It is human nature to become more attentive, more productive when we have a good amount of space.
For that reason, it’s a mistake to overlook the spatial questions when you approach a meeting room. As a meeting facilitator, the 4 questions presented in MLP 066 should be a part of planning.
The idea is to place your team members in the most comfortable environment possible. Along the morale boost that comes with good space, you’ll see improvements to the overall flow of your meetings.
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00:00 – Show Opening
Are you a professional who wants to become a more affective leader? Then get ready for daily tips from the coach with the experience and inspiration to help you succeed in any leadership situation. Your listening to the Meeting Leadership Podcast with Gordon Sheppard.
00:27 – Start Here – Podcast content starts here
Welcome to another episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast where we give you the practical tips and the strategies that you need to build your leadership skills and learn how to run outstanding meetings.
00:39 – Spatial questions are important
And today we’re going to get into a practical area that I think all meeting leaders should consider, because today we’re going to get into four spatial questions to answer before you book a meeting room. And when I say spatial questions, I mean quite literally that, how is the room configured?
01:08 – Question 1 – Can we all hear each other in this room?
Because if you’re a meeting leader and you take this into account, it will get this distraction out of the way. It’s the kind of thing where if you actually get it figured out, nobody will even know it. It’ll be one of those seamless things. But when things happen in this area, that’s when people really get distracted. And let me demonstrate this by getting into the first question, which is this, can we all hear each other in this room? And from a communication standpoint, this is absolutely critical. So for example, if you’re in one of those big boardrooms where the boardroom table is like 30 people long and someone speaking at one end can’t actually hear the person at the other end. If you know this as a meeting leader going in, then you can address it.
01:20 – Question 2 – Can we see each other easily?
You can either, for example, get microphones on everybody so that they can be amplified and then everybody can hear, or you then as the facilitator can say, “No, it’s your turn to speak, stand up, speak loud and proud and make sure that everybody in the room can hear you.” Which leads us into the second question, which is this, can we see each other easily? Now think back again to that long boardroom table. For all the people that are on one side, so often we have to poke our head forward and look either to the left or to the right to try and actually see who’s speaking and it’s a bit awkward. It can be the kind of thing that’s distracting and takes us away from the actual things that we want to talk about.
02:20 – Question 3 – What type of meeting is this?
So as the meeting leader, you either have to keep this in mind or you can get in early and you can actually reorganize the room. Which brings us to our next question, what type of meeting is this? For example, is this going to be a presentation style meeting where somebody stands at the front and talks? They’ve got the PowerPoint slides and they’re going to tell people a lot of information. Or maybe you’re going to have an innovation type meeting and that requires more of a workshop style setting. The kind of place where there’s like three, four chairs at a small table and there’s multiple pods just like that. Then people can kind of break out, share ideas and then come back together. But whatever way you want to configure the room, you want to start out by answering that question what type of meeting is this?
02:58 – Question 4 – How does our team like to meet?
And the final spatial question that I really recommend that you ask before you book a meeting room, is how does our team like to meet? Let me give you an example. I’m aware of a mid sized accounting firm that once a month the senior leaders used to meet for a two hour meeting. Now it was too long and they got off track a lot. And the way that they solved this was they went to a 20 minute stand up meeting and this is where people came in, the chairs, they were gone. This allowed them to kind of get right down to what they needed to say, and if they were going to socialize, they were going to do that at another time.
So this was one way directly to reorganize the room to make them significantly more efficient and afterwards a lot happier. So as you move forward, ask each person on your team, “How does our team like to meet? Do you want to stand? Do you want to sit? Do you want to go for a walking meeting where we don’t even meet in a room at all?” And when you get the answers to that question, then you’re going to know how to optimize the configuration of the room before you get there.
And don’t worry if you didn’t get a chance to take notes because everything that we’ve talked about here today is going to be in the show notes for Episode 66, and you can get that by going to meetingleadershipinc.com/66. And while I understand that these types of questions are not top of mind, I recommend that you at least try them out once, get the room configured in a way that people really, really enjoy being at the meeting, and I’m going to guess it’s going to contribute to your overall meeting productivity.
And if you’ve been enjoying what you’re learning in this episode, there are three other episodes in this show that are related to this very topic. Episode 52 is called 13 Practical questions to answer before you book a meeting room. Episode 59, well, there’s nine people questions to answer, and in Episode 70 you’re going to get three inspiring questions to answer before you book a meeting room.
And I’ll leave the links to all those episodes in the show notes for Episode 66 that you’re listening to right now, and I also want to let you know that this episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast is brought to you by the Meeting Leadership Academy. Now one of the key core live programs that you’re going to learn about in there is the effective meetings for professionals half day workshop.
04:59 – Meeting Leadership Academy – https://meetingleadershipinc.com/academy
I have done this for bureaucrats, university leaders, doctors, engineers, project managers and a whole lot more, and the results after this half day while people are communicating at a higher level and they end up with practical things that they can do to make their next meeting way more productive and way more profitable. And you can learn more about this and the great online training too at meetingleadershipinc.com/academy.
And if you’re already a subscriber, thank you so much. And if not, please do me a favor, hit the subscribe button on your favorite podcast app, and if you want to leave a rating, we’d really appreciate that as well. And as always, thank you so much for listening, and we’ll see you tomorrow on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.
05:57 – Podcast Outro
Thanks for listening to the Meeting Leadership Podcast. Be sure to subscribe for more strategies to help you become an outstanding leader, and don’t forget to rate and review so we can bring you fresh content every day. We’ll see you tomorrow, right here on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.
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Links From This Episode
- MLP 052: 13 Practical Questions To Answer Before You Book A Meeting – https://meetingleadershipinc.com/52
- MLP 059: 9 People Questions To Answer Before You Book A Meeting – https://meetingleadershipinc.com/59
- MLP 070 – 3 Inspiring Questions To Answer Before You Book A Meeting – https://meetingleadershipinc.com/70
- Meeting Leadership Academy. – https://meetingleadershipinc.com/academy/
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