Saturday, September 24, 2016

How to Derive the Best Benefits out of Team Meetings

Sometimes, the euphoria of having scheduled a team meeting itself can overshadow the fact that such meetings tend to lose credibility if no concrete results are produced out of them. Notwithstanding this fact, team meetings are considered important because members who belong to various backgrounds, skill sets, experience levels, age, and cultures meet and discuss to arrive at a common goal. But most of the team members hate such meetings, though they may ensure to bury this secret in the cockles of their heart. 

As a team member, you may also feel that you are wasting your energy as well as time by attending such meetings. But at the same time, it is an undeniable fact that team meetings provide the members with a good opportunity for discussing the goals of the team and also the ways to achieve them. Members can also decide who will carry out which tasks, when and how.

The main point is if the meetings are held in the right manner, teams can derive immense benefits out of them. So, it is the duty of the team leader to ensure that the meetings are run effectively and productively. The following tips may help.

    1. Preparation

Teammeetings are as important as other work activities and hence, you should prepare well so you can get good results out of them.

    2. Have an agenda

There should be a list of points that have to be discussed in the meeting. The list should be made available to all the team members who are likely to attend the meeting so they can come prepared for making the meeting effective.

    3. Start time and end time

Meetings should not go on endlessly. So, there should be a start time and end time and these times should be strictly adhered to.

    4. Call for meetings only if there is an absolute necessity

You should not conduct meetings just as a ritual. You should have a meeting only if there are absolutely important points to discuss.

    5. Importance of delegation

Never hesitate to delegate the responsibility of holding the meetings to your team members. This will develop leadership qualities in them. 

    6. Adopt an inclusive approach

Every participant should be encouraged to contribute to the success of the meetings. If the team leader alone speaks and everyone else keeps concurring with whatever he says, there may not be objective ideas forthcoming from the meeting. The very purpose of providing the attendees with the list of points for the meeting is to enable them to come prepared so they can contribute to the success of the meeting with their out-of-the-box ideas. 

    7. Never deviate from the goal of the meeting

Throughout the meeting, the focus should be on its objective. If there is a digression, members cannot have the desired results. So, every participant should actively work for keeping the meetings focused on the points on the agenda. 

    8. Insist on closure

Once a point is discussed and a decision has been made, you should insist on closure of the point. Simply harping on the same points will take the meeting nowhere.

    9. Assign follow-up actions

Once decisions are made, each member should be assigned with tasks pertaining to the follow-up of the decisions. There should be a strict time-frame also for completing the follow-up actions. The copy of the summary of the meeting with the details of the assigned tasks should be made available to every attendee.

    10. Feedback 

There is always a scope for improvement and hence, your aim should be to improve the effectiveness of team meetings. Therefore, you can ask for feed-back from the participants so you can know the right ways to run a productive meeting.

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