Break the monotony of Zoom meetings

August 14, 2020
By Rowan Belchers

This all comes down to this very helpful life truism: “Connection before content”

Meetings that start without inviting the full intelligence, energy and humanity into the conversation feel dry, undynamic, and predictable. After 7 of such meetings in a day, it’s no surprise that any sentient being would want to topple off their chair or reach for the Chardonnay just a few minutes earlier than they should …

The connection part needs to happen before the content is broached. 

The best way to do this is through a well-crafted question that is both engaging and potentially relevant to the subject matter or intention of the meeting.

Here are a few ways to get your meetings off to an energising start, so that the good vibe lasts through the duration of the meeting thus impacting the quality of thinking, enjoyment, generosity and creativity.

  1. Surprise them
  2. Engage them
  3. Challenge them
  4. Entertain them
  5. Disrupt them 

And a few examples that you can use:


  • Q: “If you were to run this meeting completely differently, how would you do it?”
  • Q: “Let’s assume we all show up for the meeting as our ‘best selves’: what would be different about it?”


  • Q: “If you had a magic wand and could change one thing about the way I lead you, what would it be?”
  • Q: “Every business has a blindspot. What is ours”?


  • Q: “If you were 10% braver in your life, what more would you have accomplished by now?”
  • Q: “What habit is in your life that needs to be ended?”


  • Q: “Describe the worst date you’ve ever been on”
  • Q: “Name the song brings out the wildest, most passionate side of you”


  • Q: “This meeting is now 5 min long and it needs to be 20% better than our regular weekly meeting. Go.”
  • Q: “I’m leaving the meeting and [the most junior person] is leading it. Over to you and let me know my to-dos once you’re done.”

Work can be fun!

Rowan Belchers

Rowan Belchers

Rowan is the founder and CEO of Lockstep, a business leadership consultancy. Lockstep works with CEO’s, executive teams and future leaders globally, partnering with clients who seek customised leadership solutions. Rowan is a highly respected advisor to CEOs with over two decades’ experience in guiding businesses and their leaders towards reaching their fullest potential. Rowan leads The CEO Project, a Lockstep initiative.
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