10 Tips to Make Team Meetings Successful

Estimated reading time: 3 mins

Do you want to be a great leader of team meetings? There is nothing like that warm, fuzzy feeling when a team meeting goes well and your colleagues walk out with a spring in their steps. Here are 10 tips to do just that!

  1. To make meetings successful in everyone’s eyes, then everyone must engage in it. It’s all about give and take! My tip is to ensure that every attendee has something to contribute (give) and something useful to take away (take). So make sure that you have an agenda that covers everyone’s interests.
  2. Ask for their opinion!For it to be a real, all-inclusive team meeting, then you must open up the discussion to everyone, and the best way to do this is to ask for opinion on matters arising. And here’s an important tip; never close anyone down in forming an opinion that you (or others in the group) disagree with. Everybody has a right to an opinion. Remember, you have two ears, and only one mouth!
  3. Never leave an issue without an action! A team meeting mustn’t be a talking-shop. If there is an issue that concerns the team, then always ensure that the meeting closes only after the issues have been allocated an owner (someone who will take it away to progress) and a date by which the owner must report back to the team (and also how they will report back.)
  4. Actively listen. Show that you’re listening to your team by eye contact, the occasional nod, and a confirmation that you have listened by repeating what you have understood. Use this an an opportunity to ensure there is clarity about what’s said.
  5. Keep it light. A serious meeting can be dull for those involved. Nobody likes a meeting that isn’t fun. Interject a little humor appropriately to lighten the mood if required (sensitively, of course)
  6. Be open to challenge. If you’re just in ‘broadcast-mode’ then you’ll see expressions of glazed-over eyes. People stop listening if they can’t engage. If you want to effectively share information or influence, then you must allow your message to be discussed, challenged and disagreed with inside the room. If you don’t, I can promise you it will be challenged, passively, outside of the room, and outside of your control!
  7. Don’t use positional power. If you have to say something like ‘well I am the boss, so that’s what we’re going to do…’ then you’re on a slippery slope. Use of positional power, like this, is a raising of the shutters. Your people will disengage and you’re then on your own. It’s much better to persuade to get buy-in. And if you can’t persuade, then is there something you’re not listening to?
  8. Allow your weaknesses to be exposed. It’s so tempting to think that, just because you’re the guy running the meeting, that you’re always right (or have the power to close down opportunities that expose you being wrong!) Don’t let ego rule. I remember when I first started out as a team leader, I made this mistake. I didn’t want my team to see my weaknesses. I look back now and see how foolish that was, as I was trying to become a role model for perfection, rather than a leader who engages in reality. It’s real important that a meeting is an open forum for discussion, and if it means you’re shown as wrong, then let it happen.
  9. Publish an agenda. Even if it is just a list of discussion points to cover. It helps with your discipline and time management to have an agenda so you can stick to time, and don’t allow one point to hijack the meeting.
  10. Publish minutes. Minutes are a record of the meeting. It gives everyone a basis to remember what was discussed, what actions were agreed (and who will do them and by when) and a record to go over in your next meeting. You don’t need to go overboard (truth is, not everyone will read them) – keep the minutes concise and accurate.

If you have any more tips you want to share, then why not leave an opinion below? Thanks!

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