Executives urged to loosen up in meetings

It is beneficial for executives to feel comfortable when they are in meetings, which is why an element of fun should be encouraged in such situations.

This is the view of Wayne Turmel, a Management-Issues contributor, who pointed out that people can often think more clearly if they are relaxed.

He suggested the need to not “waste time” at meeting venues often leads people to have very “scripted” appointments in which only a few points are covered, whereas dropping the formality a little could mean people have a little fun.

Mr Turmel stressed that this would be no bad thing as long as workers are not tempted to cross any controversial barriers. It does not involve becoming a comedian, just loosening up a little.

“Fun is not to be underrated. It helps set our mood and our attitude. It relaxes us. It creates social bonds that have long-term implications for how the team works together over the time,” he added, suggesting it could even boost productivity.

Every manager wants their meetings to be as productive as possible and there are schools of thought about how to go about this. Corporate presentations coach Jerry Weissman wrote on Harvard Business Review that a key concept to remember is to answer all questions.

He pointed out that some people in the past have claimed that it is better to answer the question a manager wishes they had been asked rather than the one that was actually put to them; Mr Weissman said that line of thinking will lead to arguments and bad feeling.