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Lead Your Team Managing

Classroom to Boardroom: How Thinking Like a Teacher Can Improve Your Meetings

Classroom to Boardroom: How Thinking Like a Teacher Can Improve Your Meetings
Credit: Oksana Kuzmina/Shutterstock

The success of any meeting depends on engaging the attendees. The problem is, many leaders find it difficult to capture and hold their audience's attention through the entire meeting.

Mike Broderick, CEO of audience response systems provider Turning Technologies, said that business leaders can learn a few tricks from school teachers, who must ensure that a group of individuals can focus on and retain the material presented in class.

"Teachers are constantly adjusting their leadership style to keep their class engaged and to help students think in ways they may not have previously," Broderick told Business News Daily. "The same applies to being a business leader. Being engaging and allowing employees to think critically in situations will allow for positive growth for your team."

Broderick noted that the "boring lecture format" that causes many students to tune their teachers out during class also frequently makes employees disengaged in meetings. He advised business leaders to take the following classroom tactics into the boardroom to increase engagement and productivity. [4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Meetings]

  • Listen to your team's ideas. One of the biggest mistakes business leaders can make is speaking at their listeners all the time. Allow for input from your team and provide constructive criticism that can help put things in action, instead of just bashing team members' ideas.
  • Leverage employee knowledge. Frontline employees who work directly with customers and partners can give you incredibly valuable insights, and staff members who perform key business processes may have great ideas that can help you streamline workflows and improve profitability. When planning your presentation, think about topics that you can include on a slide to allow employees to provide feedback. Including employees in decision-making tends to increase their motivation.
  • Be approachable. An important and often overlooked aspect of engagement is how approachable the leader is. Teachers welcome questions, and business leaders can adopt this practice to ensure their team members aren't intimidated from asking for clarification or communicating new ideas.
  • Experiment with your engagement tactics. Don't be afraid to try out a few different methods, Broderick said. What works for some teams might not be as beneficial for others depending upon various things such as team size and type of industry.

Originally published on Business News Daily.

Nicole Fallon

Nicole received her Bachelor's degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the managing editor. Reach her by email, or follow her on Twitter.