Executive Leadership Coaching
2 minute read
Sep 27, 2018
Written by: Shawn Sweeney
When you see your next all-team meeting coming up on your calendar, do you anticipate it with excitement or dread? Honestly, maybe it’s a little of both.
What if you had the tools to make the most of your all-team meeting — to make it more productive, more engaging, and more worth the investment of your time and everyone else’s? How would you feel about it then?
As leaders, we know there’s tremendous value in having all-team meetings, even if we don’t have them as frequently as we should. Team meetings drive clarity on team priorities, making sure everyone is working toward the same goals. Team meetings create the occasion to celebrate successes. And finally, team meetings give your entire team a chance to interact, which is especially important for teams that don't regularly have the opportunity — interaction and familiarity fuel more productive collaboration.
If you want to amp up the energy and outcomes at your all-team meetings, here are 5 ways to make the most of your all-team meeting:
Your all-team meeting should be more about participation than presentation. Keep the energy and collaboration high by limiting content to only relevant, engaging information for discussion. Ask for input, share ideas, discuss challenges, explore solutions. The most productive meetings bring everyone into the discussion. Tip: Don’t waste valuable team time on something you can effectively communicate in an email.
Your all-team meeting will be richer and more effective with multiple presenters. It’s not a lecture, so it shouldn’t feel that way. Invite several team members to present and lead discussions to share their own unique points of view. It’s a terrific way to hear from new leaders and develop future leaders as well. Tip: Strike a balance and make sure you don't have too many presenters, which can be distracting.
Be mindful of the length of your all-team meeting. Everyone can free up an hour for the meeting. And you should have no problem creating an action-packed hour of content. Build your one-hour plan and stick to it. A good rule of thumb to ensure enough discussion time is to cut your agenda items by 20 percent and allow 20 percent more time for each one. Tip: Anything longer than an hour is in the danger zone, and a meeting over 90 minutes makes it challenging to sustain energy and engagement levels.
Use your all-team meeting time to celebrate and publicly recognize wins — including individuals and specific teams as well as the team as a whole. Call out specific, tangible results. Recognition plays a key role in employee satisfaction, and your commitment to it will shape and define your corporate culture. Tip: Make it a point to recognize individuals who are living your company values to reinforce the importance of those values in your organization.
If your team isn’t in the same location, good virtual conference etiquette is a must to ensure everyone feels involved and has the chance to actively participate. Test audio and video before the all-team meeting, not at the beginning which can waste valuable time. Check in often with those connected virtually to keep them engaged. And during discussion, have everyone identify themselves before they speak, to help those not in the room keep up. Tip: Before the meeting, ask several people to be virtual trouble-shooters and alert you by text to any issues in real time — like “We’re having a hard time hearing when Chris is talking.”
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