Here at She Can Coterie, we’ve been hosting team meetings since the day our second team member came on and made us a true “team” — but I’ll be the first to admit, they haven’t always been the most effective. Ever been there?
Even back when it was just myself and my small team, developing a process for effective team meetings wasn’t really a priority of mine, but I knew this needed to change.
I was still miles from becoming the true CEO of She Can Coterie and I knew one of the many steps to get me there was to designate a team meeting leader. I’m hearing Carrie Underwood’s song in my head, but instead of Jesus, take the wheel, I said to our Operations Director, Ali, take the wheel, and she took on the responsibility of leading effective team meetings with power and grace.
Now, you may be thinking, what makes a team meeting effective? And, how do I know if my team meetings are not effective?
An effective team meeting essentially creates a time and space for your team members to bring their knowledge and expertise to the table (tweet this!), where you can hold open conversations and use their unique perspectives to problem solve, plan, and support one another in your separate agendas as you work toward reaching the company’s goals as a whole.
As our team has grown and evolved, so have our team meetings. We have put together seven must-do’s to keep in mind when cultivating your own plan and process for leading effective team meetings.
Schedule them in advance
Whether it’s once a week or once a quarter, meetings are only effective when your team members show up. I recommend coming up with a consistent schedule so everyone knows when they can expect a team meeting will be happening and they can make space. For example, we have ours bi-weekly, every other Monday afternoon.
Designate a dependable leader
A team meeting without a leader is like setting sail with no compass. Whether it’s you or someone else on your team, the leader should be someone who has a general overview of the team, the clients, and the company’s goals.
Break the ice.
If your team is as tightly knit as ours, you probably won’t ever feel like you need to break the ice, but nonetheless, they’re still fun! We always love to check in and hear from each team member at the beginning of our meetings and a fun way of doing that is by implementing conversation starters. You could get ultra silly and ask questions like, if you were a pizza, what toppings would you have? Or strike some empowerment within your team and ask, tell us about a compliment you received that you hold near and dear to your heart.
Fun Note: Our lead copywriter, Kristen, just launched a super fun new Instagram account called @AskGoodQuestions focused on helping people cultivate intentional relationships with others through ice-breaking, fun questions! If you’re looking for further question ideas, you should definitely check out her account.
Set an end time and make it known
Each team meeting should be shared as a calendar invite and there should be a start AND end time. It’s important to stick to this boundary not only because it helps you and your team stay on track, but also because team members may have scheduled other work around the meeting.
Create an agenda and stick to it
Without an agenda, it’s pretty easy to stray off topic and lose your way. Like I said previously, your meeting leader is like the compass. Now envision the agenda as your map. Create your agenda while keeping in mind recent questions the team has asked, what the company’s upcoming projects and goals are, as well as any client issues or questions that may need resolved.
Quick Tip: If it’s not written down on the agenda, it doesn’t get discussed. This will drive your team meeting leader to create an agenda that provides clear objectives.
Build an action plan with timelines
You never want your team to walk away from a meeting wondering, wait, what am I supposed to do again? It not only leads to overwhelm due to several follow up questions, but it also most likely means your dreams and goals for your company aren’t going to get accomplished. Always, always spend a good chunk of time at the end of each meeting going over next steps and collectively come up with reasonable due dates for when the team is expected to complete their projects.
Write a discussion list for the next meeting
Maybe you ran out of time or maybe a team member had a question that wasn’t on the agenda and it can wait until your next scheduled team meeting. Taking notes on these objectives can be super helpful and an absolute time saver when going to create the next team meeting’s agenda.
Implementing these strategies is a step toward moving from manager to CEO.
You’re taking another day-to-day operations task of your hands, putting it into the capable care of someone else, and freeing up your time so that you can dream big and focus on the vision for your company.
If you’re ready to start making the transition from manager to CEO, we have compiled a FREE ebook that will help you do just that. Sign up below and we’ll send it to your inbox!