Tuesday, June 14, 2005

How to Conduct Great Team Meetings

"If I have to attend another meeting, I'll never get anything," Steve complained to me during a coaching session.

"What's a typical meeting like at your company?" I asked.

"Some are ok, but too many of them are disorganized, people show up late, we get sidetracked all the time, and most people can't wait for them to end so we can get back to work."

Does Steve's complaint sound familiar? Most meetings are a waste of time and money. Conducting a meeting is a skill and most people have not had the opportunity to learn this skill so they repeat the habits they learned while attending other ho-hum meetings. During Steve's coaching session, we reviewed numerous ways to improve his company's meetings. Here are three essential ingredients you can use to improve your meetings:

1. Write down your meeting objectives.
What do you hope to accomplish? Answering this question with one simple sentence will help you develop and focus your agenda. Open your meeting by reviewing the purpose so everyone stays on-track. Here are a few examples:

The purpose of this meeting is to brainstorm ideas to increase sales for next quarter.

The purpose of this meeting is to review the status of the ABC project.

The purpose of this meeting is to introduce our new team members and develop our common goals for the year.

2. To meet or not to meet? That is the question.
Now that you have established your meeting objectives, it time to determine whether or not a meeting is the best wayto achieve your objectives. Consider the salaries of the participants, the other tasks that are being delayed, and any costs for the meeting room and travel. With that in mind, is getting together really the best method to accomplish the tasks at hand? When others know that you respect their time and conduct meetings only when absolutely necessary, they will attribute a greater sense of importance to your meetings and attend with the right attitude.

3. Make a habit of starting on time. Close the meeting room doors and start at the specified time. Start no matter who is in the room and do not recap for latecomers. You don't want to penalize those who arrived ontime for the sake of those who did not. One manager I know puts a jar labeled "Latecomers Fund" next to the meeting room door. Tardy attendees contribute one dollar for every minute they are late!

Now you can use the same proven tips, tools and techniques used by the world's top leaders and meeting planners! As a professional speaker and trainer for 20 years, I've attended thousands of meetings and learned what separates average meetings from incredible meetings. My newest e-book, "How to Conduct Incredibly Productive Meetings" will transform your meetings and get you the results you want. Use this special link to find out more http://www.teambuilding123.com

I also want you to know about my e-book "12 Simple Do-It- Yourself Team Building Games." It's quickly becoming one of my best sellers and receiving rave reviews. If you're looking for simple ways to liven-up your next meeting and help your team become more effective, use this special link to find out more: http://www.teambuilding123.com

Reprinted with permission from David Greenberg's Simply Speaking, Inc. 1-888-773-2512 or 404-518-7777 http://www.davidgreenberg.com/

(C) 2003 - 2005, David Greenberg's Simply Speaking, Inc. (R)

66 Comments:

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Blogger Kamal Bhakuni said...

with my personal experience more than fifty percent team meetings have no out come, when you comeout from meeting room you just feel that it was waste of time.

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12:45 AM  
Blogger sweetlife2005 said...

Team meetings will surely get boring when it is held on a four sided room with a speaker in front chatting about almost everything and ending with a conclusion of the topic without even knowing that the listeners were not interested anymore after so much blabbering. One way to conduct a great meeting is to do it outdoors. That way, the members will be much more interested on what will they do outdoors since they were told you were having a meeting. Then create an activity or some ice breakers to set up their moods and their minds about the meeting. In the end all your members will have an impact of the said meeting.


Team Building Events

9:28 PM  
Blogger daveblum said...

Nice posting. I'd also recommend "Death By Meeting", by Patrick Lencioni. It's a nice "leadership fable". If memory serves, he suggested having a short, standing up meeting everyday...another one at the end of the week, another one at the end of the month, and another one quarterly--each with a different focus. I tried it with my office manager and it was helpful.

I also agree with the comment from Sweetlife2005--having meetings outside from time to time is a great idea. I guess it all depends on whether the purpose is goal driven or networking driven.

In any case, thanks for your take.

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This comment has been removed by the author.

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Blogger Claudia Rosenburg said...

This is a really good list. I try to start meetings on time. It's really difficult sometimes, especially when everyone is running late. However, I think if I start the meetings on time maybe they will be more likely to come on time the next time. Or maybe I could start the meetings with an activity. That way if they miss the beginning they miss the fun part of the meeting and I won't have to repeat important information.
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