Tips for Leading a Successful Team Meeting

For most of us, team meetings are a dreaded and mind-numbing waste of our time. They often feel like they do nothing but take us away from more important work. The truth is, if they are poorly run and disorganized, these feelings might be justified. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. When conducted well, team meetings can help with decision making, brainstorming, sharing information, or even coaching opportunities. They can be a productive and valuable time for employees. Consider the following tips to help you run a successful meeting that leaves your team feeling empowered and energized. 

Determine the Purpose

Before you even begin to outline and plan your agenda, determine the purpose of your meeting. Ask yourself why you need to gather everyone together and what you hope to accomplish. If it’s something you can accomplish easily on your own, there is no need to call a meeting. On the other hand, if it requires input and discussion, a meeting might be worthwhile. 

Set the Agenda

Create an outline of what needs to be discussed and how you plan to accomplish your goals. This would include making a list of who needs to be invited to the meeting. There is no point in including people who are not the primary decision makers. Next, decide on how much time you will need to conduct the meeting. You want to allow enough time that the meeting is productive but not so long that your team loses focus. Finally, set the meeting date and location. Send a copy of the agenda to all attendees so they understand the goal of the meeting and arrive ready to participate. 

Assign Roles

Running a great meeting requires more than just the efforts of one person. Every participant should have an established role. By assigning roles in advance, you help the group stick to their main agenda items, avoid unnecessary interruptions, and generally make the most of the meeting time. Here are a few important meeting roles:

  • Leader: The meeting leader is typically responsible for creating the agenda and running the meeting. 
  • Recorder/Note Taker: During the meeting, they jot down action items, conclusions, and decisions. After the meeting, they organize and distribute the notes. 
  • Timekeeper: This person is responsible for making sure the meeting stays on schedule. They assign time frames for each part of the meeting and alert the group when time is running out for each part. They may also manage visual aids like slideshows.
  • Facilitator: This person keeps the meeting on track by redirecting tangents and side conversations. They also step in if things get heated to keep everyone on track and under control. 

Engage All Participants

As a team leader, it’s important to encourage everyone at the meeting to be involved by speaking up, sharing their thoughts, and providing feedback. If attendees don’t feel like they have the chance to participate, it could lower their morale. If there are people who don’t like speaking up during the meeting, give them the opportunity to follow up after the meeting through email. It is also important to ask open-ended questions to encourage discussion and inspire conversation. 

Reflect and Follow-Up

After the meeting, take time to reflect on how the meeting went. Read feedback from attendees and plan ways to improve for future meetings. Then, take what you have learned and follow-up with attendees. Provide an overview of what was discussed and any accomplishments. This is also a great opportunity to thank employees for their contributions.

If you are interested in learning more, contact us today at 1-800-501-1245 to request information about training courses from the Management Training Institute as well as other corporate training programs offered through our parent company Bold New Directions.