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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Effective Meetings

In this post, I’ll share some tips I’ve found pretty useful for me and my teams as well as for some of the managers I’ve trained.

1. Meet regularly
~In my opinion, staff meetings should happen weekly, but no less than every 2 weeks…otherwise, maybe your team doesn't have enough going on.
~Consider using daily/shift huddles with all your team(s) (or the people present for the day or that shift) to cover daily information:
--who’s working
--goals for the day
--other pertinent items
--something upbeat to get everyone going and "pumped" for the day and your customers
~Huddles should be no more than 5-15 minutes in length (I recommend having them standing up around the front desk or in the break room before customers arrive). Let the more formal staff meetings cover items at a higher level than daily unless that’s needed or you don’t do huddles.

2. Have a written agenda (even if it’s up on a board)...and stick to it.

3. Take notes that list tasks with deadlines and assignments. Assign a team member to take and distribute the notes. Please ensure you follow up on deadlines and assignments or they’re less worthwhile.

4. Show respect to your people by starting and ending meetings on time (regular meetings should be able to run no longer than 1 hour...that's why you should have them more often than once a month).

5. Staff meetings should be a 2-way street. Team members should be allowed and encouraged (if not assigned) to be involved in the dialog.

6. Whenever possible, include a few minutes for team development like a book or article review or a piece of training germane to your work.

Let me leave you with this thought that one of my team members found when preparing for a training session on effective meetings:
“Meetings matter because that’s where an organization’s culture perpetuates itself. So every day, if we go to boring meetings full of boring people, then we can’t help but think that we work for a boring company. Bad meetings are a source of negative messages about our company and ourselves.” -William R. Daniels

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