Ever been to a meeting that was a total waste of your time or you felt you couldn’t have your say without having your head shot off?

Yes, me too.  Terrible aren’t they.

But a well run, safe and productive team meeting can be the best thing for your team.

Why have team meetings?

They can be great for checking in on progress, planning for upcoming activities and resolving problems.

They can also be a great opportunity to establish a culture of shared values and open communication and to develop a sense of belonging.

When should I have team meetings?

Make team meetings part of the culture of your team.  Make them a highlight of the fortnight where you celebrate achievements and work together to get stuff done.

Make them part of the rhythm and pulse of your team life.

We have team meetings once a fortnight by hook or by crook.  They are held on the same day at the same time so everyone just knows it’s on.  We look forward to them.

Help your team members learn to facilitate meetings

A skilled meeting facilitator can make all the difference.  As mum I try not to facilitate meetings.  Facilitators need to just focus on meeting processes and not the content of discussions.  As mum, I have too much of a vested interest in what gets talked about and get easily distracted from focussing on the management of the meeting.

Help your team members to learn to facilitate team meetings.  Give them practice – take turns.

The facilitator is responsible for

  • Planning the meeting
  • Guiding the discussion
  • Time keeping
  • Ensuring objectives are met
  • Following decision making processes
  • Getting good participation
  • Getting full buy-in from everyone
  • Helping people feel safe to have their say

How can I make team meetings safe?

Ask your team to establish some meeting etiquette rules.

Examples might be:

  • Mobile phones off, on silent or away
  • No interrupting
  • Stick to the topic

Encourage team members to not interrupt others but instead listen and then preface comments with

  • May I ask you something?
  • May I tell you something?
  • May I give you some coaching?
  • May I push back a bit on what you are saying?

Avoid “group think”

Group think is where team members just agree for the sake of staying friends.  That can lead to making decisions that aren’t very robustly discussed.  Encourage your team members to:

  • ask questions at any time
  • invite colleagues into the conversation if they have not spoken
  • ask to spend extra time on a topic
  • ask other people to say more about where they stand on an issue
  • express concerns that haven’t been fully addressed

What could be on our team meeting agenda?

Having a standard agenda can give your team a process to follow so you can be sure that they discuss things that you see are important.  It will mean that teams can manage without you more and that’s a good thing.

Here is our standard agenda:

  • Progress on goals
  • Progress on tasks
  • Issue log
  • What data have we collected and what does it tell us?
  • What’s coming up in the calendar that we need to plan for?
  • What little wins do we have to celebrate?
  • What great examples of good work by staff do we have to celebrate?
  • Any other business

I’ve seen other families add things like acknowledgement to country or a get to know you ice breaker activity too which are also great ideas.

Establish some creative traditions

The high five award – we give a high five award to a team member who has done something that is a good example of our team values.

Perhaps you could shoot a gong with a nerf gun when you achieve a particular goal!

Have fun working out your traditions!

Are you exhausted from managing the daily activities of support staff?

Are your support staff reliant on you for almost everything? Want to build your team’s capacity to make decisions and manage their own work while you oversee at a distance?

The Lead Your Team Project will guide you step by step in how to go from being the team manager, to the team leader and allow you to free up your time by empowering your team.



Categories: Lead Your Team