WHAT IS THIS ABOUT?
If your team meetings are always the same, then I encourage you to implement the following 4 step process immediately. I often hear that team meetings consist of the same topics ran by the same people each time while the rest of the team sit quietly like nuns and monks – and almost always includes the routine reminder (aka telling off) about dirty cups left in the wash bowl or missing forks from the cutlery drawer! Sound familiar?
Today, time is still our most precious commodity and on par with that are our people – all of those skilled individuals that work for us. If we have done our job correctly and hired the right people, then that weekly or monthly time we set aside for our team gathering must be well thought out, protected and worthwhile for every team member.
I could easily teach a whole three day class on how to run phenomenal team meetings but from working with companies around the world I have found that all great teams share the same four ingredients in their team meetings. Here are my top four “must haves” that should always be present when getting the team together.
Before I share these with you, I want to mention that all great team meetings should be:
- Worthwhile – if you have nothing to say – don’t pull the team together. It might be nice to have a good old catch up, but your team will not thank you from cutting into their productive time if you have nothing of value to say.
- Be engaging – whoever is leading the meeting has got to have personality! This might sound obvious, but if you want to create a good atmosphere, you have to raise the level of your energy without being disingenuous – that is what is infectious
So – When holding your team meetings – remember “TEAM”
T – TALK
I often see team meetings held by the business leader or manager and then the rest of the team sit in silence. Usually the team talks and has high energy at the start of the meeting and then this energy slowly diminishes as the minutes tick by.
When you are planning to get your team together, break up topics and hand them to different individuals a few days prior. Ask them to get creative and come up with a fun way of bringing their topic to the team during the meeting with the following two rules:
- It must get people talking – the team has to discuss what was said and give their views on it or contribute in some way
- It must be upbeat – regardless of the topic, it must be lively and delivered with enthusiasm
E - EDUCATE
Secondly, every team meeting should be used to educate the team in some way. This can form a large or small portion of the meeting but it must be in there. I often tell businesses to have a “learning board” that the team should write every bit of development they need or would like to have. Then during the team meetings someone is designated to educate the entire team on a topic of their choice. This is where I use my subject matter experts. They often are the most passionate about their given topic and can answer team questions. A word of advice here – learning should always, always be fun – adults remember information better that way – so come up with fun games, songs, drawings or raps if you have to, to make the information stick! I have seen some of the most brilliant ten minute learning segments that have been so much fun to learn – and the more fun and memorable this can be the more learning will be embedded in the long term for you team. You can even have a trophy that gets passed around for the best educational piece – either way, make it fun and make it memorable where everyone takes part.
A - ALIGN
All team meetings should be used to continually align your group of individuals towards your business goals and longer term vision. You have got to know where you want to get to – otherwise your team may work hard but feel no sense of belonging to building something bigger than themselves.
When talking about vision and goals, talk about the successes that have been achieved as a team since the last meeting or last business quarter. What has changed? Why are we being successful? Or on the flip side, what could we change to be more successful? And most importantly, how are we all contributing towards achieving our vision of being the most highly skilled in the market, or having the best service excellence in our town for example – you put your own vision here – but talk about it. Every member of your team should know exactly what you are all working towards and this should be communicated constantly.
M – MOTIVATE
Finally, team meetings should be highly anticipated by the team! If they are not, then you need to find as many ways to motivate your team as possible – and then use them in and out of your meetings.
Team meetings should leave people feeling pumped up and ready to take on the world. Praise great behavior. Thank each person individually for something they did that impressed you. Talk about what really matters to people – their families, holidays, time with friends, hobbies, sports – anything that your team is passionate about. Ultimately most people work to have a better quality of life with the people that matter to them – so talk about it, appreciate their hard work and then inspire them to continue to give their best.
So, when you have your next team meeting – think about TEAM – Talk together, Educate and make it memorable, Align everyone with your vision and goals and finally, motivate them to go even further than they thought possible.
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