Should all our team meetings follow the same structure? I began my response to this question last week. The short answer is “no.” The structure of the meeting should be determined by what you are trying to accomplish in the meeting. Based on this premise, I began to outline different types of meetings: Performance Management, Problem-solving, etc. Today, the rest of the list.
Brainstorming Meeting – There will be times when all you need is a palette of new, fresh and innovative ideas to choose from to solve your most challenging problems. The best ideas are rarely obvious. If they were, you wouldn’t need the team to address the problem. And, to unearth the best ideas requires time. Therefore, many teams will devote extended periods of time to brainstorming; often designating an entire meeting for this purpose.
Development Meeting – You may decide to create a series of meetings devoted to helping your team learn and grow. You can certainly foster growth on an on-going basis, and nothing says you must devote meetings to development. However, if you have a significant skill gap you want to close for your team, an extended time of development may be in order. A dedicated meeting could be your answer.
Collaboration Meeting - This is a meeting designed for your team to work together on whatever they deem appropriate. Obviously, you don’t want collaboration to be confined to a meeting. However, my current team travels a fair amount and our schedules are packed. Therefore, we have blocked days on the calendar on which we’ll come together for the sole purpose of helping each other with whatever issues are current for any member of the team.
Team Huddle – Some call these Stand-up Meetings. These meeting are short – really short. So short, you don’t even sit down. The fact you are standing is also a strong reminder to be brief. These serve primarily as update meetings. I know some leaders who conduct these daily and others who use them weekly. Some are as short as 5 minutes. If you are working on increasing communications within your team, perhaps you need to huddle.
Debrief Meeting – Some call these After Action Reviews. This concept has been popularized in recent years by the armed services. It has proven to be an invaluable tool to help teams improve. Meetings of this type are extremely focused. The agenda is simple: What worked well? What didn’t work well? What did we learn? What will we do differently in the future? If you’ve not conducted a meeting like this give it a try. You’ll probably learn a lot.
Celebration Meeting – (Also known as a party.) The best teams do life together. This includes celebrating together. This can take infinite forms – let your imagination be your guide. You can celebrate an accomplishment or milestone of an individual, or honor the achievement of a team goal. If you don’t call some meetings to celebrate, you are missing a huge opportunity to strengthen your team.
Meetings are tools. Use them thoughtfully and purposefully and they will help your team achieve great things![GLS_Shield]