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How do you break the routine and keep the attention in a meeting?

Team meeting on Monday morning to plan the week, brainstorming Tuesday on a new project, meeting of the managers on Thursday and worst of all... crisis meeting on Friday afternoon which nobody wants to go to as the prospect of the weekend is already in everyone's head...

In companies, meetings follow one another and look alike. Often time-consuming, sometimes sterile, they do not always bear the expected fruit. The reasons for this are sometimes ill-adapted schedules, formatted proceedings, uneven speaking times and often a slow pace and methods that lack originality.

Here are a few solutions to break this routine and get your audience's attention and motivation back!


 1. Favour morning meetings

This may seem obvious, but in the rush of everyday life there is often a tendency to "wedge" a meeting into a calendar rather than schedule it at a time that is conducive to concentration. It is therefore advisable to prefer the morning, when the brain is at its most efficient, at the end of the day or after lunch break when everyone feels like taking a nap in one of the famous "nap rooms" fashionable in Japan.


According to an Ifop* study, the attention of managers is lost on average after 52 minutes of a meeting. And after only 30 minutes for 23% of them. However, the average length of a meeting is 1 hour 19 minutes. This represents 27 minutes of working time lost per person in each meeting. At an average of three meetings per week for executives, do the math... Good time management is therefore essential...


Casser la routine

casser la routine

3. Don't neglect break times

If your business meeting is workshop/workshop style, it's clear that you won't see the end of it after only 30 minutes. In this case, remember to sequence the whole thing into small thematic modules in the form of a sprint. 10 minutes of questions/answers, 15 minutes of reflection/proposals, 5 minutes of feedback for example. It is well known that the more time we have to complete a task, the longer it will take us.

Working in limited time is always more efficient! And between different sequences, remember to allow for breaks. A good break allows you to remobilize your attention.

 4. Make your employees actors Of THE meeting 

Nothing worse than seeing an inactive audience, not following the exchanges, answering their emails (or even a text message!) and passively attending the meeting. But this is often a symptom of a badly animated meeting! It's up to you to know how to capture your audience in order to make them interact. Invite them to write down their ideas instead of expressing them orally, for example.

Divide your employees into small teams or even tandem teams to encourage emulation! Each team will want to give the best of itself and performance will only be better. Encourage them to discuss each other's proposals... The secret is that everyone feels like an actor in the meeting rather than a lecturer.

Casser la routine

 5. Invite an outside speaker

Involving someone from outside the company can be a real plus to bring a fresh perspective to an aspect of your work. For example, an actress can do an awareness-raising sketch on the subject of sexism in the workplace, a top-level sportsman can come and explain the importance of teamwork... anything is possible! The important thing is to break the routine and always bring a little humour into your discussions. Working in a good mood is always better!


*Ifop Survey - Wisembly, Executive & Work Life, March 2015