How do you Run an Effective Team Meeting?

The following outtake, focused on breaking in to and thriving in the world of management, is taken from a recent exclusive recording of an MMC Moments of Truth discussion between Stephanie Leigh-Rose, education and media director at MMC Learning and Malcom Johnston, who is a consultant providing strategic support and coaching to businesses.

In this extract, Stephanie and Malcom discuss how to run an effective team meeting and the importance of team meetings for team building.

Watch the video below which will give you an amazing insight into the above question.

How do you run a productive team meeting?

Stephanie Leigh Rose:

All right, next up, how do you run an effective team meeting?

Malcolm Johnston:

It’s a challenge. People don’t have a lot of time to spare, and it’s difficult to get into a team meeting, or pretend that you want to get into a team meeting.

Malcolm Johnston:

I would say one of the important things about team meetings is to agree a framework and stick to the framework. The other is to identify how long those team meetings should be and how frequent they should be.

So discuss this with your team, and you will end up having to come to a conclusion if you are the boss. There will be some people in your team who don’t think there is a need for team meetings. There may be some in your team who don’t like team meetings. That may be because they are introverted, as an example, and find the environment of a team meeting difficult to handle. There may be those who are desperate for team meetings to show off what they’ve done. So you’ve got a broad range of people and opinions likely in your team, so you’ve got to decide.

What is the purpose of holding team meetings?

The first thing to ask yourself is why do I want a team meeting? And I would say that there are a number of reasons. The first and the unspoken one is to help you develop a team.

Your team, of course, may be spread across continents. But it’s important, I think, to build a team cohesion, a team identity. So that is perhaps an unspoken reason for having a team meeting.

For me, the reason for having a team meeting is to allow soft feedback to be given to you on how things are going, and for you to perhaps convey some meat around the bones of communications that you might have sent out or the managing director might have sent out, perhaps add some interpretation to what’s going on in the marketplace that you are able to see because you happen to operate at a more senior level. That’s about it. So there’s an element of two-way communication, but also helping people to collaborate across the team.

Stephanie Leigh Rose:

And is there- we speak about this in the course a little bit- an element of building in that time at the end to do the follow up or schedule the follow up to the next team meeting, or does that not necessarily fit in this context?

What is the role of team meetings in team building?

Malcolm Johnston:

Let me tell you what I used to do. I’d have a weekly 40 minute team meeting on a Friday. I asked everyone to come in at 8:00 AM instead of 9:00 AM, and I bought everyone breakfast. So we were fortunate, this was in the days of having a canteen in the bottom of the building, which as we’ve mentioned before is actually a really good idea. So it was bacon butties at 8:00, and the agenda was always the same.

In addition, I had a one day away day every quarter for the people who reported directly to me. So the 40 minute meeting on a Friday was everyone in my team, and every quarter, my direct employees and I went offsite. The quarterly meetings were about where we were vis-a-vis our KPIs and each member of my team delivered a presentation to everyone else in the team on where they were against their KPIs.

So I created the framework, and the framework was to limit them to three things, what are the three things that are going well in my area, and I’m going to do more of? What are the three things in my area of responsibility that are not going well, and I need help with?

You’ve got to provide a framework, I don’t want to say agenda because that’s boring but a framework is important.

As I say, the quarterly meetings were where are you against your KPIs? What’s going well and you’re going to do more of, and what’s not going well?

That took a morning, and in the afternoon, we played. Each time- I had eight direct people under me- each quarter it was a different person’s turn to organise the location and the entertainment in the afternoon. So we worked hard in the morning and the afternoon was play. Always on a Friday. We did things from throwing clay pots, amateur dramatics, went to a health club once, clay pigeon shooting, archery, polo. So a whole range of stuff that reflected the hobbies of each ind