10 Facts for Effective Team Meetings

Meetings with our various teams are an inevitable part of our everyday work routine. They help us organize and move projects forward, and can be productive, informative, or collaborative. While other times they can take up time in your day that could have been used to focus on important projects. The following tips can help you and your team become more efficient and productive during those mandatory meeting days. 

  1. Decide if the meeting needs to really occur. Before scheduling a meeting, ask yourself if the meeting will be beneficial and productive to your team. Weighs the pros and cons of the meeting, will it bring viable information to the team, or will it just take up time on everyone’s schedule? Sometimes with repetitive meetings, it is just easier to have them because it is on everyone’s calendar, verses them bringing value to your team or projects. It is easier to assess the value of a meeting when there is a defined outcome rather than regular status meetings that are more open-ended.
  2. Organize and structure the talking points of the meeting. A great way to organize and provide a structured meeting is to publish the objectives of the meeting ahead of the actual meeting date. This can help others prepare as well as, keep the meeting on topic. It can just be a few bullet points with an allotted time slots for discussion. The shorter and more organized your meeting is, the more people will be able to fit it into their daily schedule to attend. The average recommended time for a project update meeting is 30 minutes. This allows you team to give quick updates on their progress.
  3. Select your audience wisely. A great way to host productive meetings is to identify key players for your projects. It is great to keep the entire team involved but consider the impact on your team schedule. Identifying a few key people to distribute information too can help improve your over all productivity. Those key players will be able to help distribute the important information appropriately to other team members.
  4. Organize and prepare your information. Prepare and support any supporting documents and information that may be important to your meeting ahead of time. Attendees then can then review the information prior to the meeting. This will help you stay on track and make any bug group decisions that need to be made during that meeting.
  5. Start on time. It is good practice to show up to a meeting a little early, the scheduled start time should be held for when those start to go over the set agenda. When you start the meeting, it is good to reiterate the objectives, who is the meeting lead, and who will be taking and providing notes. Most of the time, meetings don’t warrant having lengthy minutes, but it is good practice to document key talking points that are brought up in an action log.
  6. Have meaningful and engaging meetings. If you choose your meeting attendees properly, everyone will take something away of value from your meeting. This will not only make the time of your meeting valuable to others but will also help you stay on topic and help drive the success of team projects. This will help drive ideas and encourage free speech among team leaders. This meeting design will help with assigning commitment, encourage others to take action, and help with meeting deadlines.
  7. Stay on track during the meeting. It is important not to lose sight of the meeting’s agenda. If additional topics come up during a meeting, note them for future meetings. Don’t tie up the discussions with long winded technical talk, this can take up a lot of time, and often get your team off track. Focusing on wins, issues, or potential risks, can remove the possibility of your meeting turning into a team check-in.
  8. Keep it business oriented. Team meetings are for generating progress, not for ambushing team members, or trying to resolve conflict. Make sure to tackle these issues at another time. Active discussions are to be expective, but only if it is on topic, progressive, and helps move the meeting agenda in a positive direction.
  9. End of Meeting Recap. It is always a good idea to reiterate what has been agreed upon and achieved during the meeting. This will help other team members understand the objectives for the next meeting. Always end your meetings on a positive note, even if some of the meeting’s are hard to discuss, this will help leave your team members in a positive mood, and ready for the next challenge that is thrown your way.
  10. Finish your meeting at it’s designated closing time. During an average work week, our schedules tend to fill up quickly. This is a good reason why we should try to and our meetings at the designated time. This helps teams produce quality work and quality solutions to obstacles that your team might encounter. If you feel like your teams need more time to discuss a topic, it is perfectly okay to schedule another meeting to help produce a quality project.

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