16 September 2022
26 April 2022
What is your reaction when you hear the term “team meeting“? Is it a rush of enthusiasm, “Great, here’s a chance to debrief and make sure our efforts are aligned”? Or a sigh of discouragement, “Right, another waste of time when I have so much to do”?
Whether you like them or not in their current state, team meetings can be an important engagement tool… if you set them up the right way! And even if you know the basics of effective meetings (like making sure the right people are in attendance, that the timing is right, or that the goals of the meeting are clear, for example), sometimes you need an extra push to put it all into action in your real work context.
So how do you make team meetings a vehicle for engagement and productivity, not something you want to get out of quickly?
Why not simply give yourself the opportunity to rethink them?
Given the current context where many teams are adapting to new work methods, the answer is simple: now!
It doesn’t matter if you’re all back in the office with your colleagues, all remote, or in hybrid mode as is the case for many teams, it’s worth taking stock of your team meetings to identify their strengths… and their areas for improvement!
An assessment is always good for providing a much-needed perspective on the work being done. And while these are most common when talking about projects or initiatives that have a clear beginning and end for the entire team, why not apply the exercise to common practices like meetings?
These meetings, whether in teams or one-on-one, are great opportunities to build ever stronger collaborative relationships between team members. To rethink them from new and promising angles, we suggest that you ask yourself four crucial questions.
The values you hold within you have a significant influence on the way you behave. If these values are never discussed among team members, it is quite possible that the behaviors adopted by some people will offend others and vice versa, while everyone genuinely believes they are doing the right thing, whether in team meetings or elsewhere.
By clarifying the values that are most important to each team member, and by establishing the common values that everyone adheres to, it becomes easier to establish team standards for expected behaviours.
In other words, it allows everyone to feel like they are playing the same game with the same rules!
No one gets excited about attending a team meeting where the objectives are unclear, time is poorly managed, and each person ends up wondering a bit about what they are doing there! Yet these meetings can offer a lot of value to each team member who attends.
To determine whether the meeting offers value to the team as a whole, you can look specifically at how topics are communicated in advance. Who knows? This may be an opportunity to gain new perspectives or critical information that may not have been thought of. You can also think about time allocation (both for topics and speaking time), and how follow-ups are developed and communicated.
Indeed, team meetings can not only be a source of commitment but also provide opportunities for development and learning for the entire team. Why not take full advantage of them?
It is easy for teams to slip into a more or less effective mode of operation, and to stay there “because that’s the way we’ve always done it”. And yet, this attitude implies depriving oneself of exploring options that could greatly contribute to individual and collective excellence within the team.
By taking the time to examine your practices and determine what is most appreciated, what should be expanded, what should be added and what you would like to adjust, you ensure that you are better aligned with reality and therefore with the needs of all team members.
And, speaking of reality…
The days when “team meeting” meant getting everyone together in one physical location for a set period of time are over for most organizations. We must now rely on more fluid configurations in terms of how team members work, and the famous “hybrid mode” has become the daily reality for many companies.
In this context, team meetings are a great tool for maintaining a sense of psychological proximity within teams — an essential factor for successful collaboration — as long as practices adapted to this hybrid reality are adopted.
It’s no longer surprising that team meetings have such an influence on the wellbeing and performance of teams! What about yours?
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