Last week we discussed what an effective team looks like, and the steps you need to take in order to create effective, cohesive, and happy teams.
This week I want to dive into one of those steps: how to lead effective team meetings.
Two common problems I encounter in the businesses I work with are meetings that are scheduled with no specific topic or need (weekly xx meetings held regardless of the need), and meetings that have no agenda.
These meetings quickly get off track with tangent conversations and constant subject changes, and the issues that need attention don’t get discussed or resolved.
So how does one lead an effective team meeting?
Prepare An Agenda
The foundation of effective team meetings is creating an agenda beforehand.
A good agenda will:
Have 1 to 3 specific topics or areas of focus If you have more than 3, many times it’s best to divide up into separate meetings
Include sub-topics Many times a topic will have sub-topics that must be worked through in order to reach a well thought out decision.
Set rough times for each agenda item Estimate how much time is needed to discuss each agenda item.
Allow time for the unexpected Add time to each meeting that allows you to spend time discussing unexpected issues or topics that arise.
For example, let’s say this week your meeting topic is customer service. Your agenda outline might look like this:
Topic: Customer Service Review (1 hour)
What are our expectations for customer service? (:10)
What are we winning at? (:10)
What are our strengths?
What's going really well?
What are our challenges? (:30)
What are the areas we can improve?
What's not working?
Do we cut it?
Do we finesse it, or try it a different way?
Do we substitute something?
What is our plan for moving forward?
How are we going to evaluate and assess our improvements in this area?
This 1-hour meeting agenda has 50 minutes of allotted discussion subjects, which allows 10 minutes for discussion of unexpected issues or topics that arise.
Using Meetings To Coach Your Team
If your team is small, meetings are how you touch base with each team member on a regular basis and look at what’s working and what’s not.
Look at each person on your team and ask yourself the following questions:
Who are the rising/shining stars?
How can you use their strengths on this team?
How can you improve their job enjoyment?
What are each person’s challenges?
How can you help them get caught up with everyone else?
How can you help them discover their strengths and passions?
What is your action plan to develop your team?
How are you going to evaluate it?
When you meet with each team member, use the questions above to help you create the agenda.
Point out their strengths and commend them for work well done.
Ask where they feel challenged or struggle.
Propose solutions that help the person address challenges, and come up with an action plan for employee development.
Evaluate that action plan at each meeting, and adjust accordingly.
As your company grows, you will get to a point where you don’t have the time to meet with each employee.
So how do you still use meetings to facilitate growth and coaching for each team member?
Even though you can’t have one-on-ones with everyone on your team anymore, or meet with all members of each department, you can still use meetings to help each individual in your company grow and improve.
Teaching Your Team To Lead
Good leaders effectively lead their team by teaching their team how to lead.
If you have five or less employees you will meet with each team member yourself.
But some of you have 10 or 20 employees, and you quickly begin to realize that you can't meet with all those people once a week—so what can you do?
Now is when you develop and utilize team leaders.
Team leaders will go through the above steps with each team member, then you will meet with team leaders to discuss what they have learned.
This allows you to still assess and help develop all of the individuals in your company without having to be directly involved with each of them on a weekly basis.
You also will want to coach your team leaders on the art of creating an effective agenda.
Showing them the connection between a well thought agenda and an effective meeting will help them hold more productive meetings with their teams.
Do you feel like you spend your days in meetings and don’t have time to work on growing your company?
Would you like help developing a better system that lets you stay on top of each area of your company without having to be involved at the micro level on a daily basis?
Monica Young is a productivity coach with a highly individualized approach for every client.
She can help streamline your meetings and create a structure in which your team assumes more responsibility, while you still stay in the know about what is happening in each area.
By looking at your unique situation she is able to devise a plan specific to your business and your needs.
This means she will not take you on a generic path to success—she will find the best path for you.
Schedule a free phone consultation to learn how she can help streamline your processes and create happy, effective teams!
About Monica Young
Monica is a productivity coach for service-based businesses with teams of 2-25. Her personalized and intuitive approach has helped her clients reach their goals in a way that feels peaceful and balanced, so they can work and play with passion and joy!
Choose from coaching strategy sessions or intensive coaching plans, each personalized to reflect your specific work and personal demands.
Click here to learn more about her personalized coaching plans and how she can help you find business success while living life to the fullest!