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5 Tips to Run Effective Team Meetings

Are you sick and tired of meetings that are time-consuming and go nowhere? We guess that most of the leaders’ time is wasted on catching up and discussing “current issues”. It’s good to know some strategies to make the best out of every meeting!

Benefits of agile team meetings

Let’s be honest – meetings won’t disappear. They are inevitable and vital when it comes to team and cross-team work. Because of them, employees:

  • are assured that their projects are on schedule
  • stay aware of every task in a project
  • feel unified and work to achieve the same business goals.

You can’t stop meetings from happening but you can work toward shortening them and require positive outcomes from meet up with your team. At Brainhub, we value our (and our clients) time, but at the same time, we appreciate the contact and open discussions.

What can you do to make meetings effective and relatively short? Read this post to find out!

Connect with everybody during a meeting

The greatest thing about meetups is the opportunity to mingle with various employees from your company. Think about meetings in your company or in your own office – do you give an outline of the meeting agenda and the main topics? Do the participants know them beforehand so that they can prepare questions or notes?

Remember that sharing data should be of less importance than discussing and sharing thoughts (send some data before the meeting to every person invited).

People, especially in IT companies and startups, tend to focus on their own teams only and avoid talking to other departments when they don’t have to. In fact, meeting workmates from other rooms or floors can give your employees the chance to know each other, share thoughts/ feelings/ ideas and feedback.

It’s a great idea to gather people from various depts – the outcomes can be surprising!

Effective team meetings - Tip 1: Connect with everyone.

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Align the agenda with your goals

Imagine a meeting during which the main topics concern numbers, reports, growth, and deadlines. It would be horribly boooring! Meetings are and should be more than that. It should inspire those involved to act and develop towards reaching a common goal. Do not disconnect the company’s mission when talking about its current activities.

Look at the meeting’s agenda like this:

You meet in order to discuss what’s happening at your company at the moment – your business activities are the result of the objectives that have their source in… the company’s strategy and mission!

Treat every meeting as deeply connected with your mission. It’ll allow team members to understand what and why are they doing what they do for your company.

More about aligning IT projects with a business strategy here!

Effective team meetings - Tip 2: Create an agenda.

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Encourage open discussion for more effective meetings

Every voice is important and you should be eager to get feedback from everybody during a meeting. Not only those who were supposed to present or speak should be active and talkative. Motivate your dev team to share their thoughts or doubts out loud or let them write emails with a comment.

Try not to dominate over the rest as a leader. It is said that leaders have the tendency to speak ½ of the time during a meeting! As a true and mindful boss, you should take a back seat and allow others to lead the flow of the discussion. Try to be more of a moderator than the main speaker.

It’s time to BRAINstorm

Consider adding the slot for brainstorming to your agenda. Every moment set aside for creative thought-sharing during a meeting is gold. Openness to listening to different people with unique skills and interests with various backgrounds will pay off. The participants will feel united under the one task/problem to solve.

Unfortunately, we don’t always realize the importance of brainstorming and engagement in a discussion. According to Ali Robins, 70% of employees in the United States report that they feel disengaged at their workplace!

For more stats click here.

Effective team meetings - Tip 3: Engage your employees, do the brainstorming.

Such brainstorming sessions after or during a meeting are for sharing a mutual voice and expressing ideas and issues that may have otherwise been hidden. It can contribute to business development and creative outcomes.

Use your time in a smart way

Surely, you’ve felt it many times. You thought: “it’s a waste of my time!” The worst thing that can happen in a meeting is getting off track.

If that happens during your meeting, stay calm and try consciously to move the topic back on the right track. Try to work on cutting down on off-topic chats and raising issues that don’t involve or concern half of the people gathered.

What else can you do? Maximize your time!

  • Take notes during a meeting.
  • Reread them after the meeting and think about taking action or implementing some solutions.
  • Create a to-do list.
  • Write short-term goals on the whiteboard so that your team can look at it.
  • Stay open-minded during every meeting and try to get as much as possible out of every contact with other teams!
  • Inspire and be inspired! 🙂