This week we want to round up the conversation we started last week on how to have better team meetings.
The point was made in the last article, that if not handled properly meetings can actually be a serious waste of time and resources. Elon Musk in one of his emails, recommends that his teams should avoid large meetings. He says, “excessive meetings are the blight of big companies and almost always get worse over time.
Please get off all large meetings, unless you’re certain they are providing value to the whole audience.
More frequent meetings mean more time talking and less time taking care of necessary tasks. By reducing meeting frequency, the team members can spend more time working.
Connected to the ban on large meetings, Musk says, “get rid of frequent meetings unless you’re dealing with an extremely urgent matter. Meeting frequency should drop rapidly once the urgent matter is resolved.”
We covered the first four keys so this week we are going to look into the last three principles that can help you have better meetings with your team.
- Blend tactical with development
You meet to explore tactics that you can utilise as a team towards achievement of your strategic goals, but do not make the mistake that many team leaders make, they overlook development. Take advantage of the meetings that you have with the team to help them build and develop their skills and confidence.
This can be done in many ways. For example, you can dedicate one meeting per month to development. For each month, have a different team member teach their best skill. This means that the other team members get to learn a new skill every month. The teach also gets an opportunity to share their strengths and build their leadership skills. This can help you break monotony associated with meetings.
- Break down the silos through meetings
One of the common issues that comes out from team building interventions is that of “working in silos”. Most of the times this issue recurs despite team building exercises. What this means is that it is not another team building session that you need as a business leader. You can actually be proactive in breaking the silos through meetings. How do you do it? Invite guests from other teams.
Progressive and effective organisations
The best organisations proactively break down silos. You can encourage this by inviting people from other divisions to your team meetings. For example if you are in sales, you can invite someone from Product. If you’re in Marketing, invite someone from Operations. Invite the other team members to present on something they’re working on.
There are several benefits to this approach: your meetings stay fresh from fresh input from other departments. Silos usually have everything to do with restriction of flow of information.
When we break the silos through these meetings, team members are informed and they become aware of the developments in the organisation.
Furthermore, you can help build better relationships amongst the team members. Consequently, the real benefit arises from this whole process is fostering further development of your team. You can determine the frequency that works for your team.
- Experiment and iterate with your team
You need to conduct audits for your team meetings. You can do this once per quarter or any other frequency that is best suited to give you results. ask each member of the team on what they think is working and what could be improved. This feedback is very important as it helps introspect on how you are performing.
There are some levers that you can adjust for your team meetings after iterating on the feedback you harvest from the team;
Pace — try multiple, shorter sessions
Duration — try different meeting lengths
Format — try various styles. What works for teams differs from one team to another. Do not be stuck on what other people are saying works.
Bonus: If it can be an email, do it
Do not just have meetings for the sake of having meetings.
You need to ensure that whatever that you are meeting for, deserves a meeting. In other instances, you do not need a meeting, you just need an email to address an issue. You do not necessarily need a meeting to share an update or information. An email will do just fine for this. Aggressively eliminate all unnecessary meetings, and your team’s performance will skyrocket.
How are you going to conduct your team meetings from now on? I hope that this conversation added one or two perspectives that may help your team do better.
Join me on Star FM on Wednesdays (09:40am-10:00am) for some moments of inspiration on the Morning Galaxy with V Candy.
Arthur Marara is a corporate law attorney, keynote speaker, corporate and personal branding speaker commanding the stage with his delightful humour, raw energy, and wealth of life experiences. He is a financial wellness expert and is passionate about addressing the issues of wellness, strategy and personal and professional development. Arthur is the author of “Toys for Adults” a thought provoking book on entrepreneurship, and “No one is Coming” a book that seeks to equip leaders to take charge. Send your feedback to [email protected] or Visit his website www.arthurmarara.com or contact him on WhatsApp: +263780055152 or call +263772467255.