How to run a good team meeting

When you think of safety meetings or team meetings most of the time you will have fairly negative thoughts, "they're a waste of time, they're boring, nothing gets done, there is always that one guy who talks for ages, you can write today off for getting any actual work done."

Meetings can be pretty bad, however they are a good opportunity to get some feedback and create a plan of action for your team. But if our meetings are boring how do we do this? Well we have a few tips for you so you can make your team meetings interactive, engaging and effective. Over to Zane and Adelaide.

Why have a meeting in the first place?

  • To give your team info
  • Get info and ideas from your team
  • Work out the facts about what is really happening
  • Solve any problems and make things work well/better
  • Agree what you'll do next/from now on

Meetings are an opportunity to have a discussion with your team where you can give them info, get their input and create plans together on what to do. If you are just going to lecture your team and tell them what to do, you won't get the same level of engagement and you start to move into the "boring and waste of time" territory.

How to run a good team meeting

  • Have a clear purpose for the meeting. If you don't have a clear purpose and you just want to rant about something, don't have a meeting. Take what you want to say and make a plan for the meeting, think about what you want to get out of the meeting and how you can involve your team.
  • Make sure the meeting is pre-planned, have an agenda. Write out the points you want to discuss and the things that you want achieved from the meeting. Better yet, ask your team if they want anything discussed. Then put it together in a list or agenda and let everyone know. That way they can start thinking about it and have ideas when it comes to the meeting.
  • Have someone take notes. The worst thing that can happen after a meeting is that no one has taken notes and people forget things discussed. Take notes, that way you have a record of what was said and decided so you can take action and do stuff.
  • Start and end the meeting on time & keep it moving. If it is an hour long meeting to start at 3pm, start it a 3pm not 3:10 or 3:30, and then finish at 4pm, not 4:30 or 5pm. That way people know that it will only be an hour or however long you say and not the rest of the day. Also if it's an hour long meeting don't spend 50 minutes on point 1 of 4, especially if you are getting nowhere with it. Keep the meeting moving along.
  • Encourage everyone to contribute and take part. Your team are the ones doing the work, so involve them in the meeting. Again, don't just lecture them, have a discussion around each topic. But don't let people take over, interrupt others and get off topic, keep the discussion on topic and make sure everyone gets a say.
  • Summarise the ideas and issues as you go. At the end of each topic, quickly go over what's been raised and/or decided while its fresh in peoples mind, that way they can speak up if anything has been left out. Also put these summaries in the notes.
  • Keep them as short as possible. If the topic only needs 30 minutes of discussion, set aside 30 minutes not 2 or 3 hours.
  • Get people the notes after the meeting. Again with the notes point. It's all good taking notes but if only a couple of people or no people get them, then it's useless taking them. After the meeting make sure the notes make sense and then give them to everyone at the meeting, then make sure they have all received them or know where they are. That way people can easily remember what was said and decided and there is no excuse for forgetting something.

So keep your meetings short and to the point, have a clear purpose that everyone knows before the meeting, discuss the things that matter and don't let people get off topic, take notes and make sure people get them afterwards. Easy!

Also don't be afraid to change things up, if you find a video or an example about what you are talking about, show it at the start of the meeting, it may help set the tone and help make people interact more.

Anyway that's it for another Workshop Wednesday, see you next week!

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