Do you and your team do little but doodle in meeting mayhem, where minutes are taken and hours are lost? In which case, it is time to improve things. These ideas will help you supercharge your team meetings and improve productivity.

Improve your team meetings

Team meetings are a critical part of helping the team to do their job. That makes them a critical part of your role, whether you like it or not! If your team meetings are not producing results, it is time for change.

In some previous articles I’ve given tips for better team meetings (click on any of the following list to read more), this article looks at how your communication style can improve your team meetings and how to structure them.

Your communication style can improve your team meetings.

There are three main ways of communicating, it’s important to use all three rather than just your natural style.

  1. Short summaries without lots of detail (can be perceived as blunt, or direct focused and to the point).
  2. Expressing feelings and emotions. (This can engagingly wander off topic making use of metaphor and stories, or drive people up the wall “please get to the point“)
  3. Highly structured, with lots of detail, facts and figures. (This can appear harsh and impersonal, or knowledgeable and precise.)

These three preferences exist and can improve all of your communications. Nowhere is this likely to be more important than when trying to improve your team meetings.

In your team, there is likely to be a mix of people and a mixture of preferred styles. As you want to connect with the whole team, it’s important to be able to use all three styles. Have you thought about their natural styles, as well as your own?

Download our guide to running team meetings more effectively, it's free and waiting for you to download right nowClick here for instant access (email address required).

Improve your team meeting

Each of these three styles has a place in a meeting and structuring the way you present to allow people with any of the preferences will improve engagement.

  1. Open the meeting by being very clear and giving a succinct purpose to it.
  2. Give it some structure, let people know that it won’t go on forever – especially those under time pressures.
  3. Add a very clear purpose statement before each agenda item.
  4. Summarise each item to be clear what action will take place. Not only is this good practice, but will also help those people who prefer succinct communication.
  5. Have a structured agenda that is issued well before the meeting.  Include enough detail to allow decisions to be made. This will help those that crave structure and detail.
  6. Allow people to talk (within the limits of the time you’ve set) and allow time for the team to wander off agenda, tell stories and cover ground in a different style. This will help those that like to express emotions and feelings, did you read “you are 96% Chimpanzee and what this means for your meetings” ?
  7. Flex your communication style to cover all three preferences. This will help you get your message across and engage the whole team.

Download our “Team effectiveness – delegation checklist and log”, it's free and waiting for you to download right nowClick here for instant access (email address required).

What team meeting horror stories do you have, or maybe things that have helped you improve your meetings?

Written by Jon Baker The 5-50 Coach. I help professionals grow their firms from 5 to 50 employees, sustainably, profitably and still have fun. Have you got your "next step kitbag yet"? It's stuffed with guides, reports & templates helping you grow from 5 to 50 employees Click here for immediate access

Photo used under creative commons licence. For more information, click here.

Download our “Team effectiveness – delegation checklist and log”, it's free and waiting for you to download right nowClick here for instant access (email address required).