The favorite spot for meetings these days is Starbucks, Peet’s or really any coffee house that has good coffee and enough seating to not intrude on the other people who most likely don’t want to be a part of your meeting. Getting out of the office for a meeting is a great way to shake things up and boost morale.
Here are a few tips on how to have an effective meeting at any coffee house:
1. Order a coffee, OK well you don’t have to order coffee, but no sense having a meeting at a coffee house if your not going to get coffee. And to really boost the morale pay for your employees’ coffee drinks. A little caffeine will do them good.
2. Give the employees 5-10 minutes of open time, just to encourage them to relate to one another.
3. Come prepared with pen and pad to take notes. Its important to take notes, unless you have a secretary to take notes for you, in that case make sure she comes prepared.
4. You must listen! This is the most important thing, always listen when others are speaking. This will encourage others to listen too. Keep in mind this is something you should practice in all aspects of life, not just for meetings.
5. Go around and have each person share what they are working on and ask them to share any areas they may need help or have questions. Questions are always good, so let them feel free to ask away.
6. Come with fresh, new ideas to share and make sure your employees feel the ideas they share are valuable.
7. Remember you have a coffee in front of you, enjoy it. And if the going gets tough, take a sip and enjoy it some more.
8. When the meeting comes to a close make sure and tell everyone “Thank you for coming”.
Follow these tips and at the end of the meeting you will have people saying “Gee we need to have more meetings” and “That was a great use of my time”. Be the cool, hip boss and take your meeting to Starbucks and start feeling the love from your employees.
For more helpful tips on Effective Meetings, check out the article on about.com.