Internal Meetings That Work
Research from the U.S. National Statistics Council found that 47% of employees think that meetings are the biggest waste of their time. This is due to meetings not having a clear agenda, that are overly long, that aren’t purposeful, and have no clear direction.
Let’s dive straight into three easy ways to make your meetings more successful.
It is vital to define the type of meeting you’re running, so your team understands what the objective is and what you’ll be focusing on. Meeting purpose examples include:
- Performance – what is the team focusing on right now?
- Results – how well is the team progressing?
- Strategy – what is the team working towards, and is everyone aligned to the long-term objectives?
- Motivation – how passionate is the team about what they are doing?
- Resolution – is the team having any challenges or problems that you need to resolve?
It is best to limit the number of meeting objectives to three or fewer. If there are more than three the meeting can get vague and confusing.
If you can’t clearly define, on paper, the purpose of the meeting, DON’T CALL THE MEETING! If your team thinks you’ve called the meeting just for the sake of it, you risk demotivating them, creating team resentment and even losing their trust and respect.
- Make sure your team knows the meeting agenda in advance
- Ensure everyone involved has prepared and done any research necessary before the meeting, e.g. don’t use the meeting to get people up to speed on things such as updating the KPI dashboard; do this beforehand
- Don’t use the meeting just to share information – that should be done by email
- By the end of the meeting everyone should have clear actions to implement, hence each person should expect to share their individual actions/commitments at the next meeting
Appoint a Chairperson in Advance
- This ensures everyone is focused and the meeting stays on track and doesn’t drift
- A chairperson’s job is to ensure that everyone stays on topic and that everyone participates
- The chairperson’s seniority in the team is irrelevant during the meeting itself
- Every member of the team should be appointed as chairperson in turn. This helps people ‘grow’, it takes the pressure off the manager each week, and it helps with empathy (once you’ve run a meeting yourself you realise why people must show up on time!)
- The chairperson should be the only one with a mobile phone to use in order to time the meeting. Everyone else’s phone should be switched off!
- Ideally, the chairperson isn’t also the ‘main topic speaker’. It gives them too much to do.
- Team meetings are a key part of operating well as a team
- Most meetings are not 100% productive, so apply these tips to make them better
- It’s about making weekly improvements, so don’t stress if it takes time to perfect meetings!
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