5 Meetings Every Team MUST Have

 
Meetings. You may love them or you may hate them, but they are necessary to the health of an organization. They can be the most productive time of your week or the biggest waste of time. So what's the difference?
 
 
You.
 
 
If you lead a team, believe it or not, you're the pendulum who decides if the meeting is constructive or destructive. We would love to blame the guy who disrupts with his jokes or the gal who rambles on and on, but you are the leader. Lead!
 
Here are a few questions to ask to find out how healthy your meetings are?
  • 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?
 
 One of the easiest ways to improve the quality of your meetings is to determine what type of meeting is taking place. You as the leader need to know the point of the meeting.
 

1. Informational Meetings.

The purpose of these meetings are to share information. That's it. It’s basically a time to communicate what is going on OR what is coming up in the organization. You review the calendar, take about current issues, or make note of something everyone needs to know.
 
Tactics:
  • 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.

Teams need to be inspired. They need to be reminded of the why behind the what. As the leader, it’s your job to inspire the troops. Remember, nothing is more inspiring than your vision. Give a short pep talk before the day, before the service, or before the event to remind the team of the importance of the job they are about to do.
 
Tactics:
  • 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.

You might call this a training meeting.  It’s a time set aside where you can teach, instruct, and develop your team. This meeting is critical because it’s an investment in your organization.  You are equipping and resourcing your most valuable commodity…your team! Give them the resources needed to be able to do their work with excellence.
 
Tactics:
  • 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.

These meetings are my personal favorites. They are scheduled times specifically to brain storm. Pull a group of creative people together and let the ideas start flowing. It’s incredible how many ideas can be shared, and all it takes is one to propel your organization forward.
 
Tactics:
  • 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.

There are times when meetings should be about information or brain-storming, but there are times when decisions need to be made! Schedule meetings specifically for decision making. Wrestle with problems and critique the ideas, but make a decision and run with it! Decisions are the difference maker in teams who talk about getting things done and teams who get things done.
 
Tactics:
  • 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.

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