Running a great meeting is an essential skill for all leaders. Too often leaders fail to have a structure for their meetings. They create their agenda the night before (or not at all) and lose control of the meeting when attendees take over and use the time as their own personal platform. Having a simple framework to follow and prepare for is the key to success. Consider following this simple agenda that can be used for all regularly scheduled meetings with your team.
- Connect - Use this time to do an ice-breaker or get to know you exercise. This allows people to connect with one another on a personal level and perhaps learn something new about each other. I recommend 10 minutes.
- Celebrate - Use this time to recognize individuals for production, the entire team for collective production, and individuals or teams for living out the values/convictions of your organization. Remember that everyone has a desire to be recognized for their efforts in making your team a success. Don't forget to acknowledge the efforts of those in administration and other departments not tied to actual production or revenue generation. I recommend 10-15 minutes.
- Equip - As a leader, you need to demonstrate your knowledge and competence of your industry and the latest developments having an impact on your team. Equip them with a specific tool, training or industry update to help them be more successful personally and professionally. You might consider bringing in an industry expert or have a top producer train your team as well. I recommend 20-30 minutes.
- Commit - Have your team commit to action items they will implement based on what they have learned in your meeting. A great exercise to get the thought process going is KEEP-START-STOP. This exercise has individuals ask, "What should I keep, start and stop doing in order to improve my individual performance in the weeks ahead?" Go around the room and ask people to share. Use these action items in your one-on-one meetings with your team as well. I recommend 10-15 minutes.
This simple framework allows you to conduct a focused and structured team meeting in under an hour. If your team needs additional time to discuss issues or have questions answered, require them to submit those to you 24 hours prior to the meeting so you can build additional time into the agenda for a Q&A session at the end. I like to have this session be at the end so that if there is an issue that does not impact everyone, then the rest of the team can excuse themselves from the meeting.
What structure or agenda do you use for your team meetings? I'd love to learn from you...
Make it a great day!