Regardless if you’re a two person start-up or an international corporation, it’s important that you and your colleagues/employees are on the same page. It can be difficult to stay on top of workload throughout the week, and enforcing regularly scheduled meetings will do wonders for your business’s efficiency.
Remember, less is more. Often teams meet several times a week either as an entire group or as subgroups to discuss the same issues and concerns. Have fewer, but better meetings with your team. Can issues or goals be addressed by having one-on-one conversations, a telephone call, or an email exchange? Meet less often and improve the quality of your meetings.
When hosting a team meeting, decide whether you are chairing or facilitating the meeting and discuss that distinction. A very common role arrangement is to have the meeting leader use a chair approach to start the meeting, deal with the agenda, housekeeping and information sharing portion of the session then switch to facilitative approach to get feedback from the group, problem solve or make decisions.
Be action oriented. When action items arise from the team meeting discussion, assign them immediately. Select an individual, a priority level and a due date for the action item. Immediately after the meeting, summarize the outcome of the meeting in a quick email, as well as assignments and timelines, and send a copy of this summary to the team. Time requirement is only 10 minutes, but having a written confirmation of the verbal can make all the difference.
Get feedback. All team meetings have room for improvement. Check in with your team on a quarterly basis on the status of your meetings. You can use a simple evaluation email form to solicit feedback, have an open discussion as a team, or simply speak informally with your team after the meeting to get their input. Some suggested questions are:
1. Do you feel that our weekly team meetings are productive?
2. What would you like me to be doing that I am not?
3. What has to happen for you to rate our team meetings a 10?
4. What do you think we need to start, stop and continue doing?
If meetings are poorly run and do not produce results, team members may lose interest in their team and their work together. By making a concerted effort to make your team meetings more effective, not only will you get more done as a team, but you will also find that your team will operate better as a unit on a day-to-day basis as well.
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