Managing a team effectively without the implementation of systems and standardized processes can leave a group feeling misguided. Team meetings are a great place to get the most out of the group you manage in terms of feedback and ideas. However, before you tap into the potential of the individuals you work with, it’s suggested that you apply a method to the way team meetings are conducted. Yes, even team meetings should have a standard operating practice! The subject matter will vary from meeting to meeting; but the structure can remain the same! Once your team becomes familiar with the way meetings are conducted, you can significantly improve the quality of the time you spend together.
Lets explore how:
- Identify goals before the meeting
Before you plan to meet with your team, prepare an agenda that will outline what will be addressed. Identify speakers in a speaker list for the different topics of discussion, and save some time for questions and comments following each topic.
- Summarize the meeting and debrief at the beginning of the next
Providing summaries is a good reminder to everyone of what was decided as well as what needs to be done for the next meeting. When the meeting is recapped, it’s easier to pick up ongoing discussions and to put to rest the completed ones. This identifies a clear starting point for the next time you meet.
- Implement a task chart
A task chart is a document that outlines the projects that each team member is responsible for giving an account for at the next meeting. The person who is chairing the meeting can ask each member (who was given a responsibility) to give an update. When the due date arrives, they can present the work they’ve completed. This is a great way to stay on top of deadlines, freeing up time in the long run by not having to manage over-run projects.
- Each member should receive meeting notes
Meeting notes are a given; however, failing to develop a system where everyone gets a copy can leave your group on different pages! Distributing meeting notes provides clarity to those who weren’t able to make it and allows members to revisit the content of the meeting during the week.
- Get feedback
Data is a tool that allows you to make informed and smart leadership decisions. Feedback is essential to explore what your team believes will contribute to even MORE effective meetings. Ideas should be encouraged and tested. You can administer a survey or set up a suggestion box to get this information. Continuously innovating and revisiting how you conduct meetings will ensure that you are functioning as a cohesive unit. Just make sure to clearly communicate any changes to ensure you maintain the very standardization you sought out to achieve!