Team meetings are all about the exchange of information and ideas. The more you involve everyone, the more multifaceted and productive your meetings will be. This article highlights 8 tips for getting the most out of your team meetings & brainstorming.
What happens when you remove focus groups from marketing initiatives, the fullback from a football roster, or the brass section from an orchestra? They arenot as good as they could have been!
When the entire team is engaged, the stronger the unit will become over time. People need to feel like they matter and like they matter together. It’s important that they view themselves as part of an integrated unit. Bonding is powerful because it means more cohesiveness, buy-in, loyalty and a “we’re in this together, sink or swim” type mentality.
1. Set Expectations.
Inform team members about topics of discussion and expectations in advance. Solicit them to come prepared with their thoughts, questions and ideas. This will facilitate a forward thinking posture.
2. Establish Boundaries.
You need to steward productivity by creating boundaries. Assign a moderator and a scribe, set limits on time allocation, make room for Q&A, give enough license to stimulate creativity and participation–but know when to reign in the discussion if it starts to cauliflower.
3. People are Visual.
When you combine words and pictures, it aids the flow of thought and ideas, helps to reinforce impressions and serves as a tangible guide as you work through processes. Utilize white boards, PowerPoint or any other graphic medium.
4. Freedom is Powerful.
Give everyone a voice. Mandate respect. Every member deserves the freedom to be heard and to share in the process. Freedom combined with responsible action can make a powerful impact. It’s not enough to just sit on the sidelines–each member should formulate an opinion and be able to express the reasoning behind their opinion, thus, adding value.
5. Participation is Key.
Too often Managers go with the volunteer method. If you rotate the individual members and assign responsibilities, it will celebrate diversity and promote a broader outlook.
6. Stimulate Creativity.
Set the stage for teams to engage in a healthy push–pull of results oriented, creative thinking. Encourage ideas to be thrown into the ring, but go a step further–hold members accountable to articulate their thought processes. This is where it gets fun in a team dynamic because fragments of inspiration often become fertile for innovation.
7. Encourage Collaboration.
Pairing teammates together for breakout sessions fosters collaboration and focuses intention. Ask the micro teams to respond with their best ideas or questions that will be folded back in to serve the larger group discussion and goals.
8. Follow Through.
Be sure to send feedback to the whole team. Recognize input from individual team players and encourage future participation. Commission a member to create PowerPoint slides, email scribed notes, or post bullet points with pertinent information highlighting the results of your meeting.
Promote positive and creative interaction inclusive of all the individuals that make up the team, and you will reap successful results!