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Make Meetings Fun

By Andy Warren,

Today we have a guest editorial from Andy Warren as Steve Jones is at SQL Server Connections.

For the past many months I’ve been hosting a daily status meeting for a project. Early on I started the tradition of providing some breakfast food on Friday. Doughnuts, bagels, muffins, pastries, I try to mix it up some, and many look forward to that small treat on Friday. It’s an easy thing to do, worth doing, but probably not exactly what you would call fun.

I want the repetition, the metronomic beat that keeps the team focused every day. Trying to make meetings fun can change the feel, easy to get off track and spend more time on fun than substance, and I think the one thing that keeps everyone going is that the meeting is a good meeting. They know the formula, we share good information every day, and we drive decisions. I don’t want to screw that up!

Still, a little fun once in a while would be good.

On a recent Friday while waiting for everyone to join I played music on my phone held next to the conference phone - playing some of Dynamite and then had to play more because people joined and only caught the end of it. Everyone was laughing, smiling, dancing in the chairs, probably in large part due to the music, but also because it was just unexpected. Then we got back to the format that serves us so well on the project.

Want to bet that they’ll be waiting to see if we have music next Friday and what it will be? A reason to look forward to a meeting and maybe a reason to start a Friday in a little better mood than they would have otherwise.

I’m curious what things you do to make meetings fun, to make the long march more tolerable? Or do you have suggestions for music to play?

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