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)