Companies usually hold meetings several times a week. But managers can be blind to how crucial those meetings are for their employees. They often don’t manage to maximize the value for both parties.

The sad reality is that managers spend a lot of time and money to

produce actual outcomes through meetings, but executives consider the majority of those meetings to be failures or just a waste of time.

If you are the one leading the team meetings, you can find it difficult to figure out which ones to have and which ones to skip, because only 4 percent to 9 percent of problems are known to managers. In order to prevent your meetings from being long, confusing, or unproductive, you need to ask the right questions.

We have compiled a list of questions to spark creative thinking during team meetings. Use free poll maker Swift Polling to create those question and to make it easier for your employees to answer right from their smartphones. The results will appear on a screen in real time.

Here are those questions:

Before the meeting

There are many questions you need to ask yourself if you’re the one who is running the meeting. And yes, meetings can be ruined even before they start. So, think about the following questions before starting a team meeting:

1. Is this meeting really necessary?
2. What do you want to get accomplished at this meeting?
3. Did you invite the right people to the meeting?
4. Should digital devices be allowed?
5. Can you expect the group dynamics to lead to a successful meeting?
6. How will you get feedback about how the meeting went?
7. Do you feel prepared?
8. Do your employees feel prepared?
9. Are people excited?
10. What’s our biggest challenge as a team?
11. How long will this take?
12. How are we doing now?
13. Where are we going?

Beginning of the meeting

This is an important stage for the meeting. You need to present the topic, make sure that everyone knows why they are there, and explain what is the purpose of the meeting. To do that, you need to ask following questions:

14. Do you fully understand the purpose of this meeting?
15. What type of KPI do you want to set for this meeting?
16. What would be an efficient way for us to spend this time together?
17. What would be useful for you to know about the topic of the meeting?
18. What’s the high point experience of your last week on this issue?
19. Is there any other topic that must be covered?
20. Is everyone clear on their role and why they matter to this project?

During the meeting

Make sure everything goes fast and productive. Regularly check with participants in order to know how it is going for them as well, especially if you want to make an interactive presentation. Ask them to feel free to express their opinion whenever they feel like there’s a problem during a discussion. Tell them about the duration of the meeting and try to stick to it. These questions will help you increase creative thinking during the meeting:

21. What do we most want to happen with this project/initiative?
22. Can you tell me what your biggest priorities are for the upcoming week on this topic?
23. When we are at our best around this sort of project, what makes it possible?
24. Is there anything that’s stopping you from working on your task? If so, what it is?
25. What one thing we should start doing?
26. Is there anything we should stop doing?
27. When’s the best time to give feedback on your work?
28. Is there any kind of information you need that would help our team perform better?
29. How can I better support you?
30. Do you feel connected to this meeting’s task?

Ending questions

It’s time to evaluate the meeting and to ask participants for their honest feedback. This will help you figure out what needs to be changed for upcoming meetings. The evaluation is the final part of closing the discussion. These questions will give you some valuable opinions about how you can improve:

31. Was the meeting time well spent for you?
32. Is there anything you would like to change for upcoming meetings?
33. Is there anything you would like to add?

If you think that employees won’t give honest answers due to fear of being judged, audience polling tool Swift Polling gives you the ability to create anonymous polls. This way, you can get fresh feedback. You can also create open-ended questions and participants can text their responses.

Here’s how it works: Create a poll or an open-ended question and ask employees to vote or to share their opinion with their smartphones. The results appear on the screen in real time and the meeting continues based on their answers.

Ready to rock your next meeting?

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