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  • Chris Ciardello

How to have Successful Meetings that Empower Your Team

Updated: Oct 29, 2021

There are 3 aspects to orchestrating effective and successful team meetings: strong leadership, clearly defined goals and a culture of support and respect. Without strong leadership there is no motivation for your team to attend these meetings and devote their full attention. Strong leaders make sure that meetings start and end on time, are scheduled routinely, and empower their teams.

People crave structure and don’t like to have their time wasted. Part of that structure is creating an agenda, allowing each team member to add topics to the agenda they feel are relevant, as well as limiting the amount of time spent on each topic.

Recently I did a presentation at a Jumpstart workshop. I was only scheduled to be up there for 5 minutes, and at that time they will cut my mic because there is a lot more happening once I leave the stage. If I were to continue for another 5 minutes after my time was up, it would push back every speaker’s presentation. It would also send a message to the other speakers that it’s okay to take all the time they want. When one person goes over their time, and then another and another by the end of the meeting everyone in attendance is frustrated and ready to go home. They start to check out and important issues can get missed.

When something is added to the agenda, there needs to be a time limit for that subject. If at the end of that time limit we do not find a solution, then clearly this is a subject that needs to be added to the next meeting agenda and given more time. If you let this subject continue to dominate the current meeting then we will not be able to address all the issues that are plaguing the team.

Limiting time spent on each subject will bring structure to your meeting and it will encourage your team members to have solutions for every issue they bring up. They will see that if they don’t bring a solution it can elongate the discussion about their topic and this proverbial “can” will continue to get kicked down the road while more pressing matters will be addressed.

The most important quality all meetings need to have is a culture of support and respect. If we do not support and respect our team members during meetings, then our teams will not be honest with issues when they arise. When problems are brought to the table, we need to hear them out and find a solution. Lack of communication is the number one issue I run into when working with teams, and the biggest breakdown is employees feel like they are not being heard or that their opinions don’t matter.

When I was younger my mom gave me the option to do my homework, then my chores or do my chores then my homework before I could go out and play after school. Either way my homework and chores had to be done before I could go play outside. When it comes to tough situations, use this same strategy when developing solutions to your team’s problems. Give your team options but make sure that the options you give them are solutions that you would be happy either way.

For example: When you first come in to work you can check the voicemails then your emails, or check you emails then the voicemail before the morning huddle. Either way we want to make sure we check the email and voicemail messages before the huddle so we can inform our team about any changes in the schedule. Allowing your team to choose the solution will legitimize their self-worth and help you to hold them accountable.

Through strong leadership with clearly defined goals, we are able to empower our teams with support and respect. It will allow you to orchestrate effective and successful team meetings, as well as give you the opportunity to build the practice you have always dreamed of.

Chris can be reached at:

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