Conducting Effective Team Meetings
Whenever we think of team meetings, we either hate them or love them, isn’t it? Different managers have different ways of conducting team meetings. There are examples of managers who conduct meetings in a very rushed and superficial manner. On the other hand, there are meetings which go on for hours discussing things which need not be raised in the presence of the entire team. So is there an effective way of conducting team meetings? Can we conduct meetings that inspire, engage, and are actual result driven? Well, certainly we can do so! Let’s take a look at the following five simple steps that might help you to conduct a team meeting effectively.
1. Ensure that Meetings Have a Purpose
The first thing that you need to keep in mind is that the meeting needs to have a purpose. Before setting out an invite to your team, always ask yourself: Why am I calling this meeting? Is it just because it is the norm? Is there an actual purpose behind gathering everyone into the meeting room by making them shelve out these precious minutes from their core productive hours at work?
A meeting usually is a perfect opportunity to be able to achieve a lot of things in a single gathering. It is an opportunity to catch up with your entire team to take a stock of the overall scheme of things. It provides you the opportunity to gauge how each member of your team is progressing and also identify any potential problems during the discussion. You can also reinforce the team statement or the organisation’s mission statement and urge everyone to refocus towards achieve team goals or milestones. In fact, every team meeting should focus on achieving team goals.
2. Always have an Agenda for Your Meetings
Since you started off the meeting with a purpose in mind, you must have a meeting agenda as well. Not having a meeting agenda, makes you appear like a headless chicken not knowing where you are headed. When you have a proper agenda, you obviously list out the things that you wish to cover in the available time slot. Having an agenda with a list of items also helps you to gauge the time that you would like to spend on each item. It is significant that you consider the time of others as precious too!
You must also set the practice of starting your meetings on time and ending as well according to the allotted time. If you feel during the meeting that certain items on the agenda needs more time than what you actually have in hand, move those items to the next meeting. If at all these items are really urgent, then organise a separate meeting with only those individuals who are close involved with that particular line item.
Develop the practice of setting up meetings at regular intervals and ensure that everyone sticks to the time and arrive punctually. Avoid calling a meeting at the last minute or postponing them often as it indicates your lack of respect for your team.
3. Always Encourage Active Participation
If you feel that the purpose of conducting this meeting is directly relevant to the participants, then you need to encourage them to actively take part in the discussion so that they can be involved in the decision-making process. How to get everyone in the meeting room to participate? Start by going around the table and gather everyone’s input. Also, turn the table around at times, so that it is not just you who are doing all the talking, but giving the chance to others to lead the discussion as well.
When your team realises that by actively participating in the meetings, they can actually see something being achieved practically, from an implementation perspective, they will automatically be enthusiastic to actively participate in your forthcoming meetings. They will start taking ownership of these meeting by showing up on time and contributing to the discussion.
4. Assign Someone to Take Meeting Minutes
Assign a different individual every time for each of your meetings to take down Meeting Minutes. The Meeting Minutes are meant to record what was discussed and decided in the meeting. It helps to set the agenda for the next meeting.
Every minute of the meeting needs to be shared with all the participants who were a part of the meeting. It serves as a record of what was discussed in the last meeting and as a reminder to those individuals who were assigned tasks during the meeting so that they can accomplish them before the next meeting.
5. Utilise Technology to Conduct Virtual Meetings
With time, the workforce of an organisation is spread across the globe and holding face to face meetings may not be a feasibility considering the different time zones. To resolve this practical issue, you can utilise technology and conduct virtual meetings via video conferencing or teleconferencing links.
Virtual meetings facilitate people to join the meeting from various locations using their tabs or smartphones to log into the central meeting site.
So what are you waiting for? Share that meeting invite and get to work on your agenda, because it’s about time that you hold a meeting and open the lines of effective communication within the team!