7 Ways to Make Team Meetings Work Today
Team meetings that don’t work drain vitality. We’ve all been there. The leader is in love with their own voice, for example.
When everyone groans before team meetings, it’s time to:
- Restructure the way you do things.
- Refocus on purpose and mission. Why meet in the first place?
- Remove old members and/or add new. Eliminate deadwood. Add new life.
Successful team meetings clarify focus, energize members, and move the agenda forward.
7 ways to make team meetings work today:
- Celebrate what works, both in process and result.
- How does the way we are working together work for you?
- What behaviors are producing wins?
- Solve challenges. Meetings without challenges to solve are a waste of time. State challenges boldly and clearly. Great challenges galvanize teams against an “enemy.” But, don’t spend all your time defining challenges. Successful teams develop and execute imperfect solutions.
- Give authority. A collection of coffee sipping advisers isn’t a team. Successful teams:
- Define challenges.
- Seize opportunities.
- Develop solutions.
- Assign tasks.
- Dedicate resources.
- Create accountability.
- Establish timelines.
- Evaluate results.
- Understand strengths and weaknesses. Have everyone take the Clifton StrengthsFinder Assessment. Talk about the results until everyone knows the strengths of their teammates. I asked a coaching client how focusing on strengths was impacting his teams. He said, “Meetings are shorter because we understand each other.”
- Demand participation. No drifters allowed. If they aren’t contributing, they’re pulling down. Slackers sap enthusiasm. Fulfillment requires participation.
- Choose your decision-making method. Will you work toward consensus or will someone else make final decisions? Use consensus to strengthen buy-in. Choose a decision-maker when expertise or short time-lines are in play.
- Disband. Teams are often formed to address specific situations but live well beyond their usefulness. Every three months ask, “Is it time to disband or restructure?”
What makes teams work?
there’s alot of meetings that don’t need to happen.
Alignment of goal with effort is the first part. Secondly commitment to the purpose is more important. But the most important aspect is the “belief”. Member should belief in their collective effort, in their potentials to achieve the goals. In the process, they should align their interest with the team goals. When it happens, even the bigger goals become achievable. Team becomes winning team.
But when team loses belief, even small goals become hard to achieve. I always think, sense of ownership in the goal, believing in individual and collective dedication and enthusiasm are the main components that makes teams work. I also feel that when expected outcomes are more likely to bring fame, honor and respect than tangible benefits, then team is more likely to enhance belief.
There’s a new Education book out, “Hacking Education” by Mark Barnes and Jennifer Gonzalez, that has a chapter on Cloud Meetings. Basically, for many if not most meetings, there’s a document place like Google Docs and a discussion space such as Voxer. The leader or anyone starts a topic; the leader chooses a deadline – and everyone is charged with participating. Should work outside education as well. Maybe a face-to-face meeting is called to consider outcome options…
Thanks for the reminder that leaders need to be respectful of their subordinates’ time as well as detailing a way to better manage meetings to accomplish this goal.
Nice topic, most meetings are a wastage of time and a drag, The 2nd point – Purpose for meeting is important. This information can be sent to attendees in advance and to come with at least one point will contribute their participation for the meeting and you can make the least contributor to note points for meeting, this way he will get involved in the meeting.
I couldn’t agree more with everything in this post! If only there were more team members out there with your honesty and straightforwardness. I appreciate your comment on solving challenges. In order for team meetings to be successful, there must be a purpose or challenge to be met. Meeting for the sake of meeting does not imply success. This links directly with demanding participation. Teams are successful when members take ownership of goals and purpose. If there is not active role required to performed, perhaps there is no purpose for involvement either!