Originally published Oct 2014. Revised in February 2021.
Effective Team Meetings
“Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything.”
- John Kenneth Galbraith
Many people share Mr. Galbraith’s view of meetings – they are often seen as a waste of time and they can be if not structured properly. When you have a team of two or more people however, meetings are a key part of effective communication in an office.
Here are some tips to make your meetings a more productive use of your time:
1) Have a set time for your team meetings and schedule them in your calendar for the year. For example, day long annual planning meeting, quarterly team meetings and weekly meetings. If you are doing virtual meetings, plan them in 2-hour spans to avoid zoom fatigue.
2) Find a day of the week and time of day when energy levels are high. Tuesday morning meetings often work well. Consider each team member's convenience.
3) Have an agenda for every meeting with a clear outcome. If you like a sample, let us know.
5) Set a time limit for meetings so people stay on point.
6) Build in team accountability. You can use a worksheet or shared to-do list which has key responsibilities, time frames and have each team member report on their own items to ensure everyone is involved.
7) Hold the meeting even if the whole team isn’t there. Even if the lead advisor is away, the remaining team members should still get together to touch base on things.
8) Have someone record minutes even if only in point form.
9) Add some variety (i.e. guest speaker on a topic that is relevant to the group, training on software, or watching a short TED talk).