Meetings cancelled, postponed, running late, pointless, people clearly multi-tasking during meetings … Sounds familiar? For (too) many people, meetings are still synonym of frustration, disappointment and not such a great experience most of the time.
Virtual or not, with or without a collaborative tool for meetings, it still remains that one important purpose of meetings is to develop the team and its relationships. As a leader, what you are looking for is to take team meetings beyond mere efficiency to another level: you aim to make them energizing, uplifting, inspiring.
What is the whole point of a team?
It is the ability to create something together that can’t be achieved by people on their own. Therefore, you need to be constantly exploring ways to energize and make the power inherent to a team surface. Team meetings are an important place to do this. Also, and no less important, all members are responsible for making meetings work well, not just you.
Transforming meetings into a rewarding experience for everybody –
Successful team meetings seldom happen by chance. Even when a team starts with good meetings, these can rapidly deteriorate, as can the quality of the team. As in coaching, asking questions is a great tool to use and you may want to consider asking your team for help:
What do they think of team meetings?
Do they have ideas on making meetings inspiring?
How can you and the team make meetings creative and productive?
What current concerns, ideas about the future do they have?
What should happen?
What are the team’s current values? Are these being lived out in day-to-day work, and if not, why not?
How people are feeling?
Monitoring how team meetings are working –
Look particularly at the objectives of the meeting: was the team really clear about the purpose?, the relevance: was the team discussion closely related to the issue?, the use of time: was the time used efficiently?, participation: how did you and the team handle the contributions?, the frankness: how honest was the team with each other? and finally commitment: how much of it actually took place?
In a nutshell, both the better teams and the more inspiring team leaders, are always testing assumptions, checking their current perception of reality against real results. Your leadership is important in that it is a vital force for stimulus and encouragement, sustaining the constant process of testing and experimentation.
How inspiring are your meetings? ...
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