One of your duties as a manager is to act as a facilitator and guide for your team during team meetings. Below are some basic guidelines for leading successful and productive team meetings.
Planned meetings should have an agenda that’s shared with the team prior to the start of the meeting. This agenda should state your meeting’s purpose and highlight items to be covered during the meeting. It may be necessary to gather feedback and resources ahead of the meeting. Encourage your team to ask questions.
If the meeting requires you to act as a presenter of information rather than just a facilitator, take the time beforehand to plan your presentation. Gather materials and resources necessary and plan to present them in an orderly fashion. Determine which pieces of information may be useful to your team after the meeting and make them available in easily shareable formats.
It’s always good to start meetings off on a positive note. When appropriate, take the time to recognize the hard work of your team. This could mean giving individual recognition, a shout-out to the team as a whole, or taking a few moments to encourage the team to recognize one another for their efforts.
Keep notes or ask someone else on the team to do so. You may also wish to record the meeting for later reference.
One of the most important tasks you’ll need to perform during your meeting will likely be time management. It’s your job to ensure that important topics in the meeting are covered within the designated time frame. This means understanding beforehand roughly how much time you’ll want the team to spend on each topic and adhering to that as much as possible. Tangents worthy of further discussion and deeper dives into specific subject matter should be scheduled as follow-up meetings with the relevant people. Gently guide your team to stay on task and on time and schedule follow-up discussions if any items from the agenda do need to be cut.
Clearly and concisely present your information to the team, providing links and documents to any presentation materials, as well as any additional resources on the topic. State your objective and then check in with your team members throughout the process to ensure that they’re understanding and absorbing the information.
Before wrapping up, it’s a good idea to note any action items to come out of the meeting. This is best done with your team rather than after the meeting ends, so that everyone is on the same page and nothing slips through the cracks.
Give your team members a few minutes at the end of the meeting to ask questions about topics covered and to discuss among themselves how they intend to move forward. Also encourage them to provide feedback to you, either publicly or in private.
Once the meeting is over, gather feedback and meeting notes. Share any public notes, presentation materials, and additional resources with your team (even if you linked to them during the meeting), and schedule any follow-up meetings. Post action items where your team can easily find them and reference back to them.