Change Your Meetings to Become a High Performing Team

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Of all my work in organizations, meetings seem to be the most common way that teams under perform. There are often too many meetings, with no advanced agendas and no actual actions that participants agree to take. Or they agree that actions must be taken but there is no follow-up or repercussions should these necessary actions fail to be initiated and completed. As such, meetings become time-wasting, counter-productive and costly to an organization.

So why do organizations have meetings? And how can teams use these meetings to improve and maintain the overall performance of the company?

Let’s take a look at why high performing teams have meetings.

Why do High Performing Teams Have Meetings?

High performing teams only have team meetings when they are needed for a business outcome. The purpose of the meetings are:

  • To discuss pertinent issues as a group;
  • To brainstorm a solution to a problem;
  • To make a group decision;
  • To check that the work the individual team members are doing is aligned with the overall business structure of the organization;
  • To share information about the external barriers to team delivery;
  • To re-assess the vision, goals and plans in the light of an unforeseen event occurring;
  • To express and listen to how people are feeling about something new or worrying.

People should enjoy their work and feel that they are making a valuable contribution to improving the overall performance of an organization. So how can you adapt your meetings to engage team members in gaining and sustaining higher productivity and performance?

I suggest you start by reviewing your management style in meetings and drawing up a meeting checklist.

Your Team Meeting Check

As a team manager, ask yourself:

  • Do I have an agenda with written actions detailing who is accountable for what action, with deadlines given for completion of the work?
  • Do I send the participants the agenda so they can prepare for the meeting before it takes place?
  • Do my team members enjoy these meetings? Or do they have to be dragged there because they feel our meetings are a waste of time?
  • Do my team and I prioritize meetings over all other work?’ If the answer to this is ‘no’ then you and your team are not managing meetings effectively.
  • Do we allocate an hour or two just out of habit?
  • Do we stick to the agenda or get side-tracked by other issues?
  • Do we follow up on decisions made at the last meeting?
  • Are there any repercussions if someone doesn’t carry out the action that they committed to completing by the deadline date set in a previous team meeting?
  • For other meetings in my organization that I am not leading, am I told in advance why we are having the meeting or do I just turn up because I’ve been invited?

The above will give you a good start in organizing efficient and productive team meetings.

For further strategies on how you can create and lead a high-performance team, check out the following link to my book, Creating High Performing Teams.

* Extract from Creating High Performing Teams by Rebecca Watson

Rebecca Watson, CEO Brompton Associates

Rebecca is the author of Creating High Performing Teams and Conscious Leadership and the Power of Energetic Fields. Founding Brompton Associates in 2008 her purpose is to support leaders to become more conscious and operate from their highest mindset. Creating sustainable and highly productive cultures.

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