Some teams make a practice of beginning their weekly coordination meetings by asking a few trivia questions. They are just hard enough to evoke a few funny wrong answers. After three questions people in the room are laughing and more relaxed then when they walked into the room.

As a meeting leader your role is not to entertain people, but you can play an important role in setting a productive tone. Work can be hard, and people can walk into a meeting with a number of challenges on their mind that have nothing to do with the purpose of the weekly coordination meeting. Trivia questions can help shift their focus from those challenges to the openness needed to have a productive meeting. This is especially important for meetings involving work requests and promises vital to maintaining workflow.

If your meetings tend to start out a bit flat, or worse start on a tense note, try introducing some simple trivia questions as a way to shift toward a relaxed and productive work mood.