We hear it over and over again, team meetings can be the worst! On the one hand, they can be a huge time suck and a major drain on creativity and productivity. On the other hand, without them, the members of our team often feel like they are falling out of the loop and overall connectivity declines, which has a negative impact on performance.
The trick here is to start simple, then make modifications based on the particular needs of your team and the individuals on it. Not all teams are the same, but if you're just getting started or you're implementing a new meeting cadence, this structure is a good place to start. This model comes from the book, Death by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni, which you should definitely check out if you haven't read it.
Share daily schedules and activities
Review weekly activities and metrics, and resolve tactical obstacles and issues
Monthly Strategic (or ad-hoc strategic)
Discuss, analyze, brainstorm and decide upon critical issues affecting long term success
Quarterly Off-site Review
Review strategy, competitive landscape, industry trends, key personnel, team development
In addition, you're going to want to schedule a one-on-one meeting per week between (you) the leader and each individual on your team. The purpose of these meetings is efficient and effective communication.
The primary purpose of the team meetings is for the leader to communicate important information through the organization to everyone on the team at once. One message this needs to include is the vision and direction for the team. It's amazing how people will get out of sync over time, so this is the place for the consistent drum beat to get worked into everyone's subconscious over and over again. The whole team needs the same information and this is the place to deliver it. Following your team meeting, if your team members lead others then they should also be communicating in weekly meetings to their teams so that critical information trickles down throughout the organization, like a waterfall.
The primary purpose of the one-on-one meetings is for your team members to communicate "up" to you so that you get the information you need from around the organization and can then serve your people more effectively. These meetings can be brief, try starting with 30 minutes per week and then make adjustments as needed. It's the job of the team member, not the leader, to set the agenda for this weekly one-on-one meeting.
Start there and you'll begin to experience much healthier team meetings which will lead to having a healthier team overall! And, once you have the right meeting rhythms in place you will be able to incorporate the leadership development principles we will be sharing in future emails.