To improve, you need to evaluate and get feedback on everything you do. And that means asking one of the scariest questions there is at the end of each meeting:
How satisfied were you with this meeting?
And then you have to listen to the answers.
I am asking this question more and more because it allows me to find the right expectations for the meetings I create, especially when I’m working with teams because it is a great team building exercise at the same time. Building a team is about setting clear goals, roles, and structures and having the group quickly evaluating their expectations on their meetings and one another at a meeting is an excellent way to both indirectly give feedback and to improve their way of working.
It only takes a couple of minutes in the end, and it gives so much value to both you and your team.
- Ask: On a scale from 0 to 5, how satisfied are you with this meeting? (When I say 0 I show a close fist, and when I say 5 I show all five fingers.)
- Say: On the count of three show your hand.
- Pick the person who gave the lowest number, and asks what was the reason for it.
- Pick the person with the highest number and ask what was the reason for it.
- Say: Thank you for the feedback and a great meeting!
In most cases, this gives you enough information to know how to improve your next meeting, but if you feel you need more information then just ask: What could we do differently the next time to improve it? It usually takes longer than a few minutes though if you go into detail. Note that I wrote we and not I in the sentence. It is not your responsibility to create a good meeting; it is everyones.
Three reasons I do it this way:
- By showing their hands at the same time, they can not influence one another with their rating.
- I only ask the person who gave the lowest and the highest rating because it takes less time than to ask everyone, and it is usually only interesting to listen to the individuals with the strongest feelings. If more people gave the same rating then, I usually give them the chance to comment as well.
- It is simple, and it even works if you are on a video-link and can see everyone.