If you're a team leader, then you know that keeping your team on track and motivated is always a challenge, especially during meetings.
So, here are some tips to help you keep your team focused and get more out of any meeting where you're the manager and the host of a team meeting.
1. Start meetings by checking in with each member of the team to see how they’re doing and what they need from their teammates. This will allow everyone in the meeting to feel like their opinion matters and will make it clear who has what responsibility in different aspects of the project.
2. The meeting agenda should be short, specific, and action-oriented. I like to ask for a bullet-point review of what each person needs to accomplish during the next week, and if they're blocked by anything. This helps everyone focus on their most urgent tasks without updates taking too long.
3. Don't let the meeting get off track. If you're not sure if the discussion will ultimately get you closer to your goal for this meeting, then be sure to redirect the conversation.
4. Make a list of next steps that are related to your agenda items. Make sure each person on your team can clearly answer how they will move the project forward after the meeting.
5. You can ask the team members to give one-on-one feedback on these items. This serves two purposes: first, it gets you more honest feedback from your people on what they're working on every day, and second, it helps your team be aware of what each person is contributing.
6. Be sure that there is always some discussion happening in the meeting. This can be anything from debating how to solve a problem to lively brainstorming. Encourage everyone’s input, not just the loudest voice in the room.
7. Check if everyone is aligned on what you’ll do next (both immediately and in the future). Not only will this give you everyone's commitment, it also gives you valuable insight into what other people need to accomplish to move the projects forward too!
9. If you're hosting a meeting, occasionally make time at the end for short discussions about what went well during the meeting and what didn't. This will help you identify and fix any issues that might be reoccurring in your meetings.
10. Lastly, try to keep meetings under an hour. This helps everyone stay focused and prevents people from getting distracted throughout the meeting. I like to use checklists when performing status updates so that I can ensure the team is on schedule for completing important tasks.