To meet, or not to meet, that is the question . . . .
Over the years I have coached sales teams as small as 4 people and as large as 100+. With each organization we hold weekly team meetings. This allows the opportunity to have a dedicated time and place to share best practices, celebrate team successes, learn about new products/services, develop work skills, address collective challenges, and whenever possible have some fun to boost team morale.
A group of people can accomplish more than an individual if a good leader is in charge. So how do we lead productive team meetings and accomplish something significant?
Start on Time
Always. Do not wait for stragglers. Ever. Set the expectation the meeting will start on time. The leader of the meeting needs to be there early. It gives you the opportunity to interact with other folks and shows the meeting is important to you. Those who arrive late and inconvenience the others are unlikely to do it again.
Meet on a Regular Basis
It is imperative to have a dedicated meeting time. The right time can vary by team size, location, business model, etc. If your meeting time is Mondays at 9:00 am keep it there. Team members need to get in the habit of preparing for the meeting and using it as a time to recharge and reconnect. Not sure the best day and time? Ask them.
Have an Agenda
Even a simple outline will help keep things on track and show the importance of the meeting. State the goals. Note what you intend to accomplish. Email the agenda out a few days in advance. Team members are expected to prepare and then bring the agenda to the meeting. Empower the team to come up with what the weekly team meeting should look like.
Keep the Meeting on Schedule
Team meetings should last no longer than an hour. This is about all the time an adult learner can stay focused. Adopting a keep-it-moving approach sustains high energy.
Expect Everyone to Contribute
No one wants to listen to the sales manager speak for an entire hour! Interaction and sharing information is important. If this does not come naturally to your group add agenda items that require their input. Assign topics to individuals or groups so they learn to come to the meeting prepared to participate.
Address a Variety of Learning Styles
The agenda should be broken into different categories allowing a change of pace and style of interaction. Break categories into announcements, power point, conversation, handouts, role playing, video, team member lead, etc. A standard agenda format may include:
- Best Practice Team Highlights
- New Business
- Marketing/Event Review
- Company Goal Status
- Product Training
Properly conducted meetings make teams function more efficiently. Conversely, when meetings are perceived as nonproductive or lacking focus, they have a negative impact which extends into everyday work. Keep things moving along, but don’t forget to check for engagement. A little dash of fun never hurts either.
If you feel your team meetings have gotten off track or if you don’t know where to begin, it can help to have a third party reset team norms to get you working more productively. Give us a call. We can help.