Overcoming the Team Meeting Paradox
Have you ever experienced the dreaded “team meeting”?
Those are the meetings that management calls to bring the team together and have a meeting about bringing the team together.
Sounds like a runaround, right? Many team meetings usually are. Here are some examples of dysfunctional team meetings:
- Meetings addressing problems that are only caused by a small number of the staff
- The meetings that tell staff to do what management’s job function is (We’ve got to “work together”)
- 90% of the talking is management, not team members
- Team needs are not addressed, and the environment for being addressed is unwelcoming or hostile
- Questions are indirectly answered, or skirted around, or deferred to a directive or internal sales pitch
- Most of the talking points are “you need to do <this>”, “you should be doing <that>”
These meetings are no more than management venting, trying to correct a few outliers, or attempting to get the expectations out all at once so they can go on to other things. The fallacy of this is:
- Those with performance issues should be addressed individually, and not waste the performing team members’ time
- Staff should know how their jobs are getting easier, and not management’s
- Team members need to talk as much or more as their leaders
- An environment and tone should be consciously made for open honest and constructive discussion
- Questions should be answered directly and honestly; if not, a committed follow-up must be given
- The focus of these meetings should be on training, engaging, motivating, celebrating, and developing everyone to improve in all aspects of their roles
Meetings that don’t waste your people’s time but help them get better are more effective than the earlier examples listed. It requires an unselfish, fair, and disciplined leadership mindset. If you need direction in how to accomplish this, here are some guidelines to get you started:
- Leadership should identify and address small issues every day to minimize gripe sessions and make meetings more about team development
- Meetings should be collaborative and participatory
- Agendas and talking points should be made from input from staff and leadership
- A goal for what the meeting is to accomplish should be set and communicated at the very beginning
- 2-way motivation, communication, and training should define each meeting
- Involve members across the team to talk and present to the group
- Trust, vision, and teamwork should be the goal
- Investing in the people of your organization should be the prevailing mindset
Don’t fall into the team meeting paradox trap. Set the meeting up to succeed beforehand by solid daily leadership and a team approach to ensure your team is strengthened and motivated to become more successful.
What ways do you make your team meetings beneficial for everyone? Share below!