- Does your team view meetings as productive or unproductive?
- Does the meeting have a purpose?
- Does the meeting have an agenda?
- Do people walk away with a clear call to action, or do they leave wondering what just took place?
1. Informational Meetings.
- Be detailed. It’s a big mistake to just assume people know.
- Be relevant. Address things that are pertinent to everyone in the meeting. Nothing bores people more than info that doesn’t relate to their specific area.
- Be proactive. As the leader, you should be thinking 6, 9, 12 months down the road. Don’t just focus on what’s happening next week.
2. Inspirational Meetings.
- Be Brief. After five minutes you start to lose people.
- Be Clear. Your team should be able to articulate to others why they do what they do.
- Share Stories. It’s great to share the facts, but people really connect with good stories. This is the time to celebrate a recent win!
3. Instructional Meetings.
- Share the floor. The trainer doesn’t have to be you. Bring in a local “expert,” or use someone on your team who has a speciality in an area.
- Be consistent. You may be missing out if you only send your team to training once a year. With all the tools available online, it’s not difficult to provide trainings once a month.
- Be fresh. Think outside the box. You can gain valuable insights from people not in your particular field. (I’m on staff at a church, and we’ve been trained by principals, coaches, business leaders and restaurant owners.)
4. Idea Sharing Meetings.
- Set ground rules. For people to open up you need to create a safe environment. Example ground rules might include: 1. No idea is a bad idea. 2. Don’t shoot down someone’s idea. 3. Think solutions, not problems.
- Be diverse. Mix it up a little. Invite people who don’t think the same.
- Think outside the box. This is not the meeting to play it safe, or develop strategy. Ask, “If money, time, and resources weren’t limited, what would we do about _____?”
5. Decision Making Meetings.
- Be small. There should only be a few people in decision-making meetings. It’s hard to make a decision with 15 different opinions.
- Be unified. When the decision is made, everyone walks out in 100% support. Watch out for those who will try to sabotage the decision.
- Be mindful. Give careful thought to how the decision will effect the team and organization. Think through how you will communicate the decision and lead through the decision.
So, next time you have a meeting, whether it's spontaneous or planned, let your team know the purpose of the meeting. That one simple act of clarity defines the terms of the meeting. It sets the boundaries. Also, when the meeting is over, your team will feel like something was accomplished.
I'm curious, what kinds of meetings does your team have? Can you think of one I missed? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Comment below.