Did You Know?
Meetings dominate the way in which we do business today according to statistics shared on effectivemeetings.com.
In fact, approximately 11 million meetings occur in the U.S. every day.
Most professionals attend a total of 61.8 meetings per month and research indicates that over half of this meeting time is wasted! This unfortunate truth results in a loss of approximately four work days per month.
A few additional statistics from inc.com and other sources about what really happens during meetings:
- 91% say they daydream
- 96% have purposely missed meetings or parts of meetings
- 92% say they have brought other work or they multi-task when in meetings
- 39% say they have dozed during meetings
- 67% of all meetings are considered non-productive or failures
"To create company unity, email less and schedule more in-person talks."
Dinner Lab Founder
"Culture and values can substitute for resources."
Boston Beer CEO
"If you don’t get face to face, you’re working blind."
"Teams that demonstrate effective communication skills tend to be more efficient while meeting the goal."
"Top organizations are focused on the team as a whole rather than focusing on super-star sales performers."
"Meetings are at the heart of an effective organization, and each meeting is an opportunity to clarify issues, set new directions, sharpen focus, create alignment, and move objectives forward."
Author of Meetings Matter
Paul Charles & Associates
519 Mammoth Rd - Londonderry, NH 03053
"Helping people sell more
& communicate better"
|Business executives, department managers, small business owners, sales managers, and organizational leaders all share an opportunity that is often overlooked or bungled.
This opportunity is on-going in nature, and like many things in life it requires persistence, strategy, and forethought; and like many things in life, it is simple – but not necessarily easy.
This simple opportunity can help them to engage, assess, educate, motivate and lead their teams; it can help them inspire people to higher performance, improve skill levels, reinforce organizational culture, increase awareness levels and reduce or eliminate costly miscommunication.
This simple opportunity, simply stated, is a well-planned and well-executed weekly team meeting.
But as simple as this may sound, there are common pitfalls to be avoided if we are to realize the above-listed opportunities! Here’s a quick list of things to "do" and "not to do" when planning and executing your weekly team meeting:
- Set a strategy that is consistent with the team’s mission and that aligns with their abilities. The best meetings have clearly defined goals and objectives.
- Schedule meetings on the same day and time each week – otherwise you will be promoting schedule conflicts because people will never be sure "if or when" the team will meet.
- Make attendance mandatory.
- Plan every meeting in advance, in writing; many managers have created agenda templates that can be completed on-the-go throughout each week (download a free sample). HINT – if you find yourself planning team meetings a few minutes prior to the scheduled start time, you’ve most likely missed many opportunities.
- Include a bigger-picture component in every meeting – i.e., the corporate view, industry updates, etc.
- Include an educational component in every meeting. Periodically invite a subject matter expert or guest speaker who can support your training goals or share best practices. Similarly, you might occasionally assign a team member to research and present information that will enable the team to improve performance in key areas.
- Promote an interactive exchange by including well-crafted (open-ended) questions in your personal copy of the agenda and by recognizing and expressing appreciation for people’s contributions.
- Maintain a "group level discussion during every meeting – this means we primarily present and review information that is relevant or of interest to the entire group (see pitfall # 4 below) as opposed to individuals.
- Use the team meeting to build and promote a team environment (see related article: The 5 "I’s" In Team) by sharing team goals as well as team achievement. If appropriate, incorporate an activity metrics dashboard (which should be completed in advance) for a quick visual depiction of the group’s achievement and each person’s contribution.
- Use the team meeting as a thought-leadership tool. Driving a high-performance culture begins with helping people focus on the right things, and publicly reaffirming organizational values – this means going beyond simply identifying weekly tasks (see pitfall #4).
- End each meeting with a summary of conclusions and consequential next steps.
- Wing-it or meet out of "habit" – everyone knows when a meeting has not been planned or has no purpose, and the results are predictable:
- An inconsistent message with little-or-no value-added content
- A lecture (often negatively-toned) with little-or-no team interaction
- Schedule meetings whenever it’s convenient for you versus what makes sense for the team
- Assume everyone remembers everything they've ever been told or that more tenured team members don’t need or want to be motivated, trained or educated – as Samuel Johnson once said, "People more often need to be reminded rather than informed."
- Spend the meeting discussing each person’s personal performance plan for the week or each sales person’s pipeline and hot list. These "individual level" topics are important, but should be discussed in detail in a one-on-one setting. While it is a good idea to make everyone aware of upcoming action plans and to give each team member an opportunity to share achievement with their peers, this should only comprise a small portion of the overall meeting.
- Be afraid to encourage participation – and to reward it!
- Criticize in public.
- End a meeting without drawing conclusions and identifying next steps.
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A Few Quick Seconds…
Here are a couple of related articles from past issues you might have missed, and which generated especially positive feedback:
The 5 "I's" in Team
We're all familiar with the quote, "There's no "I" in team," but when it comes to leveraging the connection between employee engagement and customer experience, productivity and profit, there are actually five of them...
Read full article
Your Weekly Team Meeting
Your organization can experience significant gains by running effective team meetings or conference calls. However, if these meetings are poorly executed, it's only a matter of time before your workforce considers them to be non-productive, unnecessary or even unpleasant; in which case, certain opportunities will be forever lost!
Read full article...
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