Team meetings are supposed to be energetic and motivational, moments when you exchange experience and advice and search for solutions and strategies to resolve issues and form action plans. But most of the meetings are nothing like that, and sooner or later your mind starts to wander and all you’re left with is being exhausted and frustrated. Successful meetings not only help with organizing activities and resolving issues but also with strengthening the team and creating a healthy work environment. So, here are some tips which will help you achieve just that.
You are a Leader, so be a Leader
As a manager, it’s your duty to set the mood of the meetings and create a working environment which will be adopted by your team members. Don’t be lazy and let everything is agreed through phone calls, online or private conversations. Organize meetings once a week, for example on Monday first thing in the morning. Ask your team members how they spent their weekend, drink coffee or tea together and then start the business part of the meeting. This way you will set a more relaxing mood, create a stress-free environment for your team, and boost their contribution and participation.
Don’t Neglect Anyone
Of course that there might be a situation when not all team members would have anything to contribute or are maybe shy to do so. Whatever the reason, don’t let them feel as though they’re outside of the team and motivate them to at least mouth their opinion. That way you will make everyone feel comfortable and involved. The point of meetings is to discuss the issues and plans, not to recite the information, statistics and strategies. Also, consider printing out the copies of agenda and topics and sending them to every team member before the meeting so everyone would be familiar with the content and be able to easily participate.
Use Tools and Equipment
With all the various aids to improve your meetings, it would be a shame just to spend time talking about numbers and plans. A projector and a screen are very common pieces of equipment these days, so use them to present your ideas and goals. Other useful tools are glass white boards and large TVs, which can help you with emphasizing and explain certain items on your agenda. Whenever possible, try to make printed materials of presentations or highlights of the topics, since that will keep your team’s attention solely on you, and not on writing down the facts.
Monitor the Progress
Meetings are not effective enough if you don’t assign tasks and monitor the progress of its realization. When a team member commits to doing something, they take upon themselves to implement decided strategies in order to achieve successful completion of the certain goal. If you don’t check their progress from time to time or ask them to submit an oral report on every meeting, they might procrastinate and their actions may have the negative impact on the overall performance of the whole team and consequently you as its manager.
Make the Meetings Interesting
You can invite a guest lecturer or an expert on the certain subject to come to one of your meetings and present their data, findings or strategies for successful implementation and completion of current and future tasks. This will add an extra standard to the meetings and enable your team member to learn something new and useful to help them perform their duties better and achieve the highest results.
Set the Tone
As a leader, you are the authoritative figure in the room, so you are the one who will create the tempo and uphold discipline. No matter how relaxed atmosphere you want to create, always make sure that team members respect each other and that bad humour, vulgarities and gossiping are not to be part of your meetings. This doesn’t mean to be serious all the time, but a role model and positive example of the professional work environment.
All in all
Having a team and not using its full potential is a waste of time, resources and energy, not to mention damaging and detrimental to the business. It doesn’t take much to create a respectable and healthy work conditions which will inspire another manager to do the same and keep your team motivated to achieve the successful results and the utmost level of professional conduct.