Tips to Improve on Team Meetings

Joe Weinlick
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Regular team meetings allow managers to ascertain what everyone in a group brings to the table for certain projects. These sessions also give bosses time to gauge people's concerns, critiques and feedback regarding everyday issues in the workplace. Just because your team meetings occur a consistent basis, however, doesn't mean the gatherings need to be ordinary. Use your leadership style to plan and run an effective session with these handy tips.

Have a positive attitude about team meetings from the get-go. The attitude of the team reflects the attitude of leadership. If you have a positive mindset and enjoy these regular gatherings, your group should as well.

Put your leadership style to good use by owning the session. You, and you alone, are in charge of planning and setting the agenda. This is your time to shine and prove your worth. Ask your team and your boss for relevant topics for team meetings a few days in advance. These gatherings do not mean you should "wing it" and talk about whatever comes to mind. Have a solid agenda with plenty of fact-based information to back it up.

Spice things up a bit as well. Invite guest speakers, change locations, celebrate an accomplishment or have food. Instead of a square table, put chairs in a circle so everyone at the meeting faces one another.

Introduce interactive elements as much as possible. This does not mandate that every team meeting consist of solely question-and-answer feedback sessions or team-building exercises. However, if you have a video one week and a PowerPoint presentation the next, that gets different formats in front of your group. Use a whiteboard the next time, or show off some great new meeting app during another gathering. Interactivity prompts everyone to pay attention, an essential component to any successful team meeting.

Use these face-to-face opportunities with your team to foster a sense of collaboration. Put everyone in the meeting on equal footing, which means no one gets chastised or criticized. Welcome any and all ideas during open-session times of the gathering, and constructively listen to any and all ideas.

Follow up after the meeting to ensure your team members take action on tasks designated to them. This makes the next gathering more effective and puts the group one step closer to whatever its overall goal is. Hold people accountable for their roles within the team by gently holding yourself and your employees to high standards.

Perhaps the best thing you can do during team meetings is lighten up. Maintain a laid-back, positive and humorous attitude during the meeting. Start the session off with a relevant joke that sets the tone for the day. By choosing to take an unusual approach to your team meetings, you increase the likelihood of not only capturing everyone's attention, but also of making your gatherings both memorable and meaningful.

Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at



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