Early in my career I had a mentor who ran fabulous meetings. He was a dynamic man and knew how to command attention. He used to start every meeting with meaningful recognition. The key word here is meaningful. He didn’t force it. He didn’t look for phony or made up recognition, but bona fide performances that stood out since the last meeting. Citing the data, ‘Bob’ would call out someone in attendance for their outstanding performance. Sometimes he’d have them stand or come to the front. There was always some applause, sometimes pats on the back, and even some good-old ‘hootin’ and hollerin’ as those recognized had their names called. In any case, the recognition at the start of the meeting was routine and something that everybody looked forward to. Talk about getting the meeting off on the right foot!
Following the recognition it was time to move through the agenda. Attendees were already active by virtue of the recognition and this carried into the actual meeting. Bob got our blood moving and had us interacting from the get-go. The meeting was off and running and we were all better off for it. It worked.
Sure, this is a simple one. Why not try it sometime? Let me know how it works for you.