Why You Need To Consider These 6 Things For Your Next Team Meeting
One of the things I enjoy most about working at Vanderbloemen is the lack of meetings. Yes, I said it correctly: the lack of meetings.
One of our values at Vanderbloemen is Stewardship of Life. This value helps us think differently about what we do with our time. One of the ways we protect our time is by having meetings only when they are needed. Do you have a meeting strategy? How can you ensure your upcoming meetings are not only effective but also add value to your team?
Here are six things to consider the next time you plan a team meeting:
1. Location, Location, Location
Look around your meeting space. Is it inviting? Is it colorful? Is it conducive for creativity and communication? Make sure the environment in your meeting room is fun, colorful, and the room temperature is just right. Also, arrange the seating so it is relaxing and your team is able to sit close together. If there is a table in the middle, take it out. Tables sometimes form a barrier between you and the others on your team. The environment of your meeting room has an impact on the effectiveness of your meeting.
2. Have a Plan
A meeting without a plan is like a ship without a rudder. Effective meetings that produce results include planning. Have an agenda and stick with it. Many times I have been in meetings where the team leader goes on and on about something that has nothing to do with the rest of the team. This not only wastes time but also drains the meeting participants. If you want to kill a meeting, don’t have an agenda and don’t stick to your plan.
"A meeting without a plan is like a ship without a rudder. Effective meetings that will produce results will include planning. Have an agenda and stick with it."
3. Facilitate the Meeting
A key ingredient of any successful meeting is a great facilitator. The team leader needs to create a positive and productive environment. At the opening of the meeting, an effective facilitator reviews the goals of the meeting. The facilitator uses the goals to keep the meeting focused, the agenda to help lay the tracks for the meeting, and the meeting plan to help ensure the desired results for the meeting.
Here is a simple lay-out of the goals, agenda, and a simple follow-up plan of one of our client’s team planning meetings:
A. Set a clear goal of what you want to accomplish, i.e. summer calendar, fall kick-off event, fall calendar, etc.
B. Before we put something on the calendar we go over these 5 things:
- Talk to God - “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us…” Ephesians 3:20
- Think Mission - “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
- Thinking New, Simple, Original, and Creative - “But forget all that - it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19-20
- Think Package Deal - Together we can accomplish more!
- Dream Big - “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
4. Encourage Team Participation
If you are a leader who believes handing out a “to-do” list is an effective meeting, then you need to let someone else facilitate the meeting. An effective team meeting includes the thoughts, gifts, talents, feedback, push-back, and creativity of the other team members. Many times I was handed a “to-do” list and asked to complete the tasks. These types of meetings only produce limited results. God has placed those team members in that meeting and has gifted each in a unique and special way. Allow others to share their thoughts and ideas in a safe and trusted environment. Create your meeting time to allow for open and honest discussion. Also, when you implement someone’s ideas, give them credit for it. This will add integrity and honesty to your meetings and will also encourage participation.
"An effective team meeting includes the thoughts, gifts, talents, feedback, push-back, and creativity of the other team members."
5. Implement the Plan
During the meeting, be sure to design a plan of implementation or action steps. Make sure it is clear, concise, and everyone knows his or her specific assignment or role. If the meeting was done correctly, then the members will take ownership during this part of the planning. To further help effectiveness, include a due date for each assignment and set a time for a follow-up meeting.
6. Have a Follow-Up Plan
It is important to set up a time for a follow-up plan. This will ensure your next team meeting will be successful as well. The follow-up plan should include a follow-up meeting, a simple time for debrief, and a time of team celebration. During the meeting, allow members to share what they liked or disliked, what worked or didn’t work – recognize all team members and celebrate everyone’s results.
End this meeting on an up-swing and again, allow your team to shine. A great leader recognizes the importance of not building himself up but of building up the team.
Team meetings are important to the success of any ministry or organization. How can you better invest your time to make the next team meeting more than just another boring meeting?
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