Business meetings are often seen as monotonous gatherings that interrupt one’s work day for little purpose. As a business leader, making meetings meaningful and engaging should be a priority of yours, especially if the topic at hand is an important one.

These should be an assemblage of teammates vying to improve the business in some way, collaborating with one another in professional manners. If they are anything less, most employees will go back to their respective workplaces having taken nothing away from them. Get back to the basics in terms of what makes a meeting meaningful. The following tips are just a few things you can try to do just that.

Be Genuine

Expressing vulnerability in what you are presenting allows everyone in the meeting to speak openly and without judgment. Providing every employee with the courage to speak their minds will create traction in perhaps a beneficial conversation pertaining to the task at hand. Create an environment in which people shouldn’t have to be given permission to speak. Encourage everyone to take part. The hierarchy of the business world should never deter an employee, regardless of position, from voicing their opinions.

Stay on Topic

It’s easy to become sidetracked when discussing company concerns, as more issues may stem from those that you wish to address. Rather than highlighting the negatives and possibly lowering employee morale, focus on one topic, and highlight both the good and bad. Additionally, avoid giving feedback that does not contribute to the conversation. Criticizing something or having topics brought up that defer the meeting itself will only waste time.

Listen

As important a role as ‘business leader’ is, it’s equally as important to let your employees speak for themselves. Avoid speaking for the duration of the meeting. Ask open-ended questions and encourage your team to contribute. Listening to what they have to say provides you with valuable insight that might otherwise go unheard.

Instead of showing what you know, explain it and teach your employees. Give them the tools they need to adequately contribute to the meeting. This can influence them and display your leadership skills.

Gone are the days of pointless meetings consisting of one person speaking without interruption. This meeting style rarely accomplishes what needs to be done. Make them more inclusive without worrying about job titles or positions. An environment in which everyone voices their opinions professionally is one that has purpose.