Yes, every single one of my staff meetings has a Goal (or two). And I define that goal by finishing this simple statement...
This meeting will be a success if...
I had two goals for today's meeting that finished that statement:
- The staff understands the importance of asking the customers questions and getting to know the special needs of their children
- The staff gains a new tool to make the experience more personal and special for our youngest customers
The task I used to accomplish the first goal was a guest speaker who talked to us about Autism and the special toy needs of autistic children. If you know anything about Autism, you know there is a spectrum. What is good for one child might be completely wrong for another. But after the presentation the staff is now armed with a load of questions to ask a customer to help understand where her child might be on that spectrum.
What was even better, however, is that it helped them also realize that all children are on some sort of spectrum in their levels of play and that by asking the right questions of the parents they can better determine which toys to suggest.
Not Just Any Balloon
To accomplish Goal #2 I brought in an art instructor. This guy can teach any kind of art to any kind of student. The task I gave him was to teach to my staff how to doodle and draw in twenty minutes. He was up to the challenge. In no time at all he convinced my staff that they all had artistic talent, and he showed them simple techniques for doodling animal faces onto helium balloons.
Now my staff is empowered to not only give children free helium balloons, but to customize them with a quick little drawing. The kids don't just get a balloon, they get a personalized work of art. It only takes a few seconds to draw, but it makes a lifetime of impact.
Best of all, the staff had a blast learning and have spent all morning practicing their doodling skills (wouldn't you just love a job where the boss encourages you to doodle?). There's a little friendly competition already begun to see who can draw the most balloons this week. Once again the staff is telling me how much fun they have at our meetings.
Are your staff meetings this fun?
Would you like them to be? All I do is follow a simple plan that you can follow, too.
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