5 sporting tips for the perfect meeting

As the Olympics get under way in Rio, we look at what you can learn from the sporting world to help you get the most from your meetings.

If you want your meetings to be more effective, or you feel you’re not quite on your A-game in presentations, take your lead from some of the world’s top sportspeople to get the results you crave.

A Business man Reaching Down and Touching his Shoe

From warm-ups and visualisation to crossing the finish line, there are many ways to bring a winning mentality to the office.

1) Prepare with a warm-up
Every athlete warms up before an event, so why should business meetings be any different? Fail to prepare and you prepare to fail.

Don’t make it up as you go along. Make notes and set an agenda. To make sure everyone is switched on and focused 100% on the task in hand, consider starting meetings with a five-minute warm-up game.

From colleague ‘Guess Who’ to Human Rock, Paper, Scissors, you’ll no doubt be able to find something suitable on the internet. Once everyone’s nicely warmed up, you’ll find they’re likely to interact more.

2) Visualise a successful meeting
Many top sports stars who’ve won medals and trophies say they use visualisation to achieve success. It’s a technique that helps you picture how you’re going to do something.

Whether it’s scoring a penalty or giving a presentation, running through every aspect of the experience in your head can help to alleviate any anxieties you might have.

Before your next meeting, take five minutes to imagine exactly how a successful meeting will go, and then put that into practice.

3) Use tunnel vision
Top athletes find it easy to concentrate and are single-minded in their pursuit of an end goal.

Make sure you don’t get distracted and go off topic. Always stick to your schedule. Prior to the meeting, lay out an agenda that lists everything you plan to cover, along with a timeframe for each item discussed.

Email this to attendees in advance. Once you’re in the meeting room, put the agenda up on a screen. This ensures everyone stays focused.

Business man in a Meeting With his Shadow Holding A Tennis Racket

4) Play to your strengths
All winners know what they’re best at. Understanding your own strengths and weaknesses is crucial at work, and this applies to meetings too.

If you’re technically-minded, use a variety of multimedia tools to get your point across. If you’re creative, think outside the box and put your ideas to the team.

If, on the other hand, profit margins aren’t your area of expertise, delegate someone from finance to speak at the meeting. As in sport, business works best when you place people where they’re most effective. After all, you wouldn’t expect Usain Bolt to run a marathon.

5) Know the score
The problem with a lot of meetings is that they end with no clear decisions being made, and you can feel as if you’re no further forward than when you went in. It’s little wonder that many people find meetings frustrating.

If meetings were a sporting event, everyone would know the score. Make all your meetings productive by determining who will do what and when they’ll do it by.

Posted by Sara Cano

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