I think we can all probably think back to a time when we sat through an hour long meeting, drawing doodles to pass the time. We walked away thinking, ‘Well, that was a waste of time,’ or, ‘Yup, that totally could’ve been an email.’
As we step into leadership that aversion to poorly arranged meetings has caused too many of us to over correct in the opposite direction. With Slack, email, Voxer, and so many softwares connecting us in so many ways to our teams, we tend to opt out of necessary meetings far TOO often now. We drop things in Voxer that should’ve been a meeting. We send a lengthy email with so many points we confuse our team – should’ve been a meeting. We take brainstorming to Voxer when, yes, that should’ve been a meeting.
So today we’re going to do some sorting out, and I want you to take note, because we’re covering the 5 types of meetings EVERY leader needs to prioritize. Not every meeting has to be a waste of time, so let’s save time by hosting the right kind of meetings.
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Team meetings don’t have to waste anyone’s time
Team meetings don’t have to be a time suck. In fact, knowing when to host the right kind of meeting and doing so effectively serves to propel your team further.
Let’s talk for a second about why team meetings even matter in the first place. Have we thought about that recently? Or, at all? What is the POINT of meetings?
Meetings serve to disperse information, communication or ideas effectively and provide dedicated, protected time and space to get in alignment with goals, explore and discuss all obstacles that could or do pose a problem, brainstorm effective paths forward, and assign responsibility and accountability.
All team meetings should…
If effect, all meetings should perform those functions.
- Instill alignment on what goal is at hand
- Explore any obstacles that pose a threat
- Map out paths forward
- Assign responsibility, action items and accountability
Team meetings are important because they foster an inclusive team environment. When all voices are heard on the topics we just discussed, no one can feel left out of the journey. They also boost collaboration and interdependence within your team – you’ll begin to see your team members turning to each other more and turning to you less and less with every effective meeting you hold. WIN!
Team meetings also help fast-track the decision making process while at the same time stabilizing it with a range of voices, ideas, experiences, strengths, expertise and perspectives. They’re also one of your best ways to continually keep a pulse on your team dynamics – where do things feel off? WHere might there be conflict that needs to be resolved? Do all team members feel free and safe to speak up? You’ll begin to see personalities interact and strengths interact – you’ll start to observe where your next leadership project is to ensure the health of your team!
5 types of team meetings you need to have
Okay, so the 5 types of meetings every leader needs to host –
- All-team meetings – all team meetings serve to connect your team as a whole. Depending on the size of your team you can host these monthly or quarterly. I wouldn’t stretch it out further than that. The goal of All-Team Meetings is to make sure everyone is in alignment with the objectives of the company as a whole. Where are you headed? What big campaigns, launches or dates are coming up? You can also use this time for each team member to connect with the goal by sharing their current objectives. This is a great way for everyone on the team to see who is working on what, where their strengths are, and to foster the leadership in each other.
- Onboarding meetings – Onboarding meetings! My FAVORITE! It’s IMPORTANT to note that these are not one-and-done meetings, my friend. You don’t host an onboarding meeting on day one and go on your merry way. These serve as check-in points and to strategically layer on information crucial to the position. This is something we go deep into in the jtl Leadership Academy – we spend several weeks on hiring and onboarding. Ideally, onboarding should last 90 days. YUP.
- You’ll have your first onboarding meeting where you’re connecting to the vision you have for the role and introducing them to their job. You’ll provide them the resources they need to begin exploring the role, the company and their team and get their feet wet in work.
- At the 30-day and 60-day marks you’re meeting to see how their transition is taking place, how they’re feeling in their role, you begin to look at their performance and set goals, and you serve to connect them to any resources they might need.
- Evaluations/ Performance Reviews – this happens at the 90-day mark and continually thereafter. You should be hosting 1:1 evaluations with your team at LEAST every year. At LEAST – if not every six months. These serve as a dedicated space for you to give constructive feedback as well as receive constructive feedback on your leadership and support. The goal of these evaluations is to get vulnerable, share your honest thoughts on their performance, review data and metrics alongside them, and discover how you can better lead and support them! If these feel daunting, be sure to read Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead as soon as possible.
- Brainstorming sessions – These are held for brainstorming only – maybe there’s a goal, a project, a campaign, or a problem at hand. The point is to bring many brains together and brainstorm as many solutions as possible. Be sure to include as many perspectives, too, so if you have a marketing problem, don’t just bring in the marketing team – bring in your administrative team, too! The point is to get our brains outside of the box we put it in, get creative, and get collaborative. These are great for fostering interdependence and trust, too!
- Coaching sessions – these are different from performance reviews in that performance reviews are a dedicated time and space for you to give feedback specifically on performance. Coaching sessions are designed for you to support your team member in their pursuit of their own professional development and goals. These sessions are mostly spent asking questions with the goal of encouraging your team member to get clear on what their highest goal is at this moment, discover what’s standing in their way, brainstorm some paths forward, and select a path and create and action plan they can stay accountable to. Be sure to go back and listen to the episode I recorded on Coaching Your Team for Performance – it’s a replay of an Academy session that was loved so much we had to share here on the podcast! I’ll link it in the shownotes!