Running effective team meetings
When coaching a team, you may be asked to work with the Manager or Team Leader to review the frequency and content of team meetings. This would normally cover how they prepare for them and how they are run, but with your help they can also learn to develop their soft skills. The results should be really positive for all members of the team and result in team meetings being more effective, less frequent and shorter.
The Manager or Team Leader will normally host the team meetings, send out invitations and create the agenda. They will traditionally use the opportunity to share updates, stimulate ideas, discuss opportunities or issues and agree on the next steps. Their use of positive or solution-oriented questions will encourage everybody to get out of the problem space and into a more solution-orientated mindset.
A formal Q&A section can be used at the end of every meeting, however they should regularly check everybody is following the discussion and pause if needed to ask if anybody has any questions. This is important if they have any more introverted team members.
By quietly sitting in on some key meetings, you will be able to observe team dynamics and provide feedback. This enables you to use your unique perspective as an outside observer to give valuable insights and shed light on any ‘blind spots’ the team may not have seen in their everyday interactions. It can also be an opportunity to help identify future leaders and encourage roles within the team meetings to be shared so they feel more inclusive.
Key roles in team meetings
Timekeeper – The timekeeper sets the rhythm for the meeting and ensures all agenda items are discussed equally. They are ultimately responsible for the meeting running to time and can sometimes be asked to co-ordinate any external presenters and invitations.
Scribe – This is a pivotal role at any meeting and formally logs all attendees. They make a note of information discussed in the meeting and use it to develop any follow-up notes. These notes can initially be used at the end of the meeting to ensure the group have collective agreement with what has been said. They are then also used as either a simple list of decisions or actions, more detailed minutes on the discussions that took place, or a formal report with action plan.
Presenter – With support from the Manager or Team Leader, the presenter is given time at the meeting to share specific information or update the team on a subject they may be interested in or impacted by. They may wish to involve the Manager or Team Leader as this can help the team understand why they should be interested in this information and what they will need to do as a result of seeing it.
The presenter will need to quickly gauge the level of interest the team have in their presentation and if needed adapt their approach. Where appropriate, they can include a fun or interactive element to ensure the information has impact or relevance.
In team coaching, your role can be seen as a catalyst for change and collective awareness within the group. By guiding the team towards more ambitious results, they will normally progress towards greater performance and positive outcomes. However, it is important to learn how to successfully challenge the team, without imposing your desires or agenda, and without pushing or pulling them.
Points to consider:
- Approach team coaching through collective motivation
- The team is a living system and has within it people who want to contribute and excel
- Gather team commitments and agree an action plan
- Organize half day coaching sessions to minimize scheduling issues
- Using benchmarking tools to measure changes in behavior, productivity and working together
- Call out any negative behavior or undelivered actions
If you would like to help managers run effective team meetings, develop soft skills and support their team to succeed, check out our ebook in the online shop:
Coaching a team – Your essential guide to coaching a team, together with the tools you need to run team coaching sessions and successfully deflect conflict
We have also published a full range of resources specifically aimed at supporting you as a professional coach:
- Virtual Game – Coaching a team
- Virtual game – Coaching a manager
- Kit – Running a co-development session
- Kit – 7 tools for team coaching
We constantly add content to the site, so please check our on-line shop and look at the full range of games, ebooks and kits. Or read some of the other blog posts written by our team of international coaches.
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