3 Critical Steps to Get the Most Out of Team Meetings
Team meetings play an important function in uniting each member around a common vision. Whether you’re bringing your team together to make a key decision, creatively develop new market opportunities, share industry data, or build interpersonal relationships, team meetings can be a powerful tool when run with intent.
But when they’re left to their own devices? Team meetings can quickly become bloated time-sucks that slow down work rather than enable it. The differences between a great team meeting and an average (or downright sub-par) team meeting may seem small on the surface. In reality, they can lead to significant cost savings, accelerated productivity, and a more connected sense of camaraderie within the team.
Here are three ways to get the most out of your team meetings.
1 – Assign meeting roles ahead of time
Great meetings require work, such as note-taking, monitoring time or agendas, and ensuring everyone’s given the space to make a valuable contribution. By assigning meeting roles, you can delegate these responsibilities across your team, building a sense of ownership as to the meeting’s outcomes in the process.
If your team has regular meetings, changing up who’s assigned to which role can also create an opportunity for team members to experiment with their thinking and contribution.
2 – Work from a meeting agenda
There’s nothing worse than sitting down for an all-in only to realise there’s no clear agenda for the meeting. Creating and distributing a meeting agenda ahead of time sends a message to each participant that their time and input are valued.
A bulletproof meeting agenda will include:
- A meeting schedule – this can go beyond the start and end time of the meeting to identify meeting subsections based on agenda topics.
- Meeting location – save valuable time in waiting for people to share the correct video conferencing link by including it in the agenda itself.
- Attendee list – clarify who will be in attendance, creating an opportunity for anyone who doesn’t need to be there to be left off the list.
- Meeting purpose – why is this meeting being held? This forces meetings to be held out of need, not out of habit.
- Agenda items and objectives – by listing these out ahead of time, it’s easier to move the meeting through a predefined priority list, reducing the risk of losing valuable time to tangents.
3 – Ask open-ended questions designed to prompt responses and discussion
Meetings are not designed to give a manager the platform on which to monologue. If a meeting is often ruled by one voice, without the continued input of the wider attendees, it’s wise to reconsider its purpose in the first place.
Open-ended questions that are designed to gather responses and data and generate discussion can be the difference between wasted time and uncovered opportunity. Asking your team to consider accomplishments and achievements, internal challenges, opportunities for improvement, what’s catching their attention within the industry, and where they may need further resourcing demonstrates a genuine desire for their engagement, not for their attendance as an audience member.
Meetings will often bring together team members from disparate but connected areas of the organisation. Learning how to build strong relationships across the team is paramount to the continued success of the team’s objectives.
Red Leaf’s Surfing Virtual Adventure takes teams through the process of collaborating across the management of a professional surfer, enabling team members to collaborate across boundaries to deliver for their customers. Book a tour today to learn more about how a Virtual Adventure experience can set the tone for a rich, interconnected and capable team environment.