Let’s get honest – most of us are tired of meetings because they seem pointless. However, when leveraged correctly, meetings can be a powerful tool for feeling connected, driving fruitful collaboration, and achieving goals. Start by understanding the six main types of meetings and then scheduling them at a thoughtful cadence.
Don’t wait until these are needed. Schedule a standing one-on-one meeting depending on your needs – weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Examples of one-on-one meetings:
- Team member check-ins
- Feedback sessions
- Coaching or training meetings
These are regularly scheduled update meetings. The cadence and style will depend on your team size. Weekly meetings work well for highly-independent teams or during peak capacity times. Biweekly may work well for smaller teams that collaborate frequently. You may choose to run your meetings on the EOS Meeting format or as a simple round-robin. The agenda format relies heavily on the team’s style and size. Examples of team progress meetings:
- Leadership Team Meeting
- Broad Team Meeting
- Project Team Meeting
Whether educational development (hello, Lunch n’ Learn) or bonding (teambuilding), a team development session should be strategically planned in advance to ensure these efforts don’t get lost in the daily shuffle. Examples of team development meetings:
- Training Session
- Team Building Session
- Celebratory Event
As the name suggests, ad hoc meetings are scheduled as needed and have one clearly defined goal. If it’s a brainstorming session, that’s all that is done in that meeting. If it’s to address an issue, focus solely on the issue. If it’s a decision-making session, only work on that decision. Don’t cram multiple goals into an ad hoc meeting. Examples of ad hoc meetings:
- Decision Making
- Address Issues
Step away from the day-to-day completely to realign your team, strategy, and projects. Quarterly Planning or Business meetings are ideal for recapping what went well over the past quarter, the adjustments that need to be made to goals and the way work gets done (e.g., Quarterly Process Review), and being proactive about the coming months. Examples of quarterly planning meetings:
- Strategic/goal planning
- Content/campaign planning
- Project planning
The big one. Shut down operations, go to a neutral location, and get down to it. Review your values, vision, goals, strategic initiatives, project plan, key measurements, and anything else that sets the business up for success in the coming year.
How to Use Meetings Successfully
A few quick guidelines to ensure your meetings are effective:
- Map your meetings on a calendar and schedule them well in advance. You can always adjust throughout the year, but at least it will be on the radar.
- Keep tabs on the time investment. High Frequency = Shorter Meetings. If you’re meeting weekly, keep the meetings to 30 minutes or less.
- Have an agenda. Whether an itemized agenda or a framework to guide the conversation, have a structure in place.
- Limit attendees and ensure everyone understands why they are included.
- Pay attention to the clock. Start on time, end on time.
- Have a Parking Lot to maintain focus.
- Develop an accountability system. Have someone take notes, track tasks, and follow up. (A powerful task management tool is your best friend here!)
Now take the time to think about what meetings you need for your team and what cadence makes the most sense. If you need assistance with strategically planning your team connections, my Intensives are the perfect opportunity to get another set of eyes on your plan.