A survey was given to executive level leaders. They were asked: What subject would you like to read a book about? Two-thirds of them replied: A book about how to work with boards, teams and committees.
Let’s face it. Most of us have never been trained on how to lead a productive meeting or how to get the most our of your team members. Often, meetings with committees are challenging and unproductive. An experienced leader once said jokingly: “For God so loved the world…He didn’t send a committee.”
On the other hand, a group of people can usually accomplish more than an individual if a good leader is in charge. Leaders turn talent into performance. They turn groups into teams. They’re brokers of the resources the team possesses and they align team members so that they can accomplish more as a collection of people than as individuals all working apart. So—how do we lead productive meetings for these teams and accomplish something significant?
Setting Up the Meeting
Some simple steps you can take to prepare for a successful meeting:
- Contact each team member personally and confirm the details.
- Ask something of each member attending for the purpose of buy-in.
- Request that members notify you if they cannot attend, for accountability.
- Schedule the meetings in a comfortable and safe place for discussion.
- Foster participation by asking members to prepare a report for the meeting.
- Decide and relay beforehand how long and how often the meetings will be.
- Invest some time during the meeting for personal and professional growth.
- Meet members individually outside the meetings for relationship building.
The Elements of an Effective Team Meeting
My experience tells me that teams need certain essential elements from their leader and each of these can happen in a meeting. The four elements of a good meeting are:
This time is for communicating big-picture vision of the organization. In this period, the leader finds creative ways to remind everyone of what and why they do what they do. It could include stories, video, statistics, drama…you name it.
This period is for interacting about relevant events, updating on the latest information, announcements, and insuring everyone is aligned on the outcomes you are targeting. It’s a time to communicate information and news.
Next, offer relevant training to equip leaders to serve more effectively. If you have members with various levels of experience, divide them into two groups: Leadership Foundations (new leaders) and Leadership Fitness (seasoned leaders).
During this time, allow the various types of leaders, filling different roles, to break into smaller communities for discussion and planning. Here they can focus on personal application of the training and pertinent areas to their positions.