EFFECTIVE Weekly Meetings… DO this & AVOID that!

aaronBy: Aaron Ganir

Benjamin Franklin said it best, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Anyone can make a list, talk about an agenda, or acknowledge that there are problems that need to be fixed. But, how do you bridge the gap between knowing and actually doing? The answer is EFFECTIVE PLANNING! Every team is different, but here are my top 10 tips that will help transform your team meetings into an effective planning session that will produce results!

DO this…

  1. Time & Day: Choose one day each week that works for everyone. Make sure the time of day is when you are at your peak performance. For most people, it’s first thing in the morning. A sluggish afternoon meeting might not be the most effective!
  1. Use an Agenda: The top 2 complaints during a team meeting are drifting off subject and poor preparation. When you focus on your agenda, you have a better chance of moving towards your purpose. Need a proven agenda that works? Download our agenda here.
  1. Participation/Action Items: When I have something to prepare, I will participate. Training individuals to do their part will encourage everyone to be dependable. By making individual assignments, it creates an “Ownership Mentality.” When someone realizes that they own the task, it gives them power to make decisions. This helps the individual feel trusted and needed and will strengthen team bonds.  Follow these 3 steps to create individual accountability.
    1. Identify Action Item
    2. Identify Person Accountable
    3. Identify Date to Complete
  1. Appreciation & Praise: Make it a point to recognize others for their accomplishments. Recognition, especially in a public setting during a team meeting, will bolster confidence and enrich your work environment with positive energy. Then, step back, and watch your productivity soar!
  1. Practice: You cannot practice effective planning if you don’t hold your team meetings regularly. If previous plans were not successfully implemented, do not be discouraged. Remember, there is always room for improvement. Just take the plans back to the drawing board during your next team meeting. Making time for regular team meetings will help you learn and grow.


AVOID that…

  1. Food: Stop the FOOD FIGHT! Meetings over lunch are proven to be the worst time. Don’t allow food or drinks into any meeting. When you compete against food for attention, you will always lose. It causes distractions, wastes time, and will always lead to less effective meetings.
  1. Party Time: Birthdays and work place anniversaries are celebrations of gratitude and life. Why on earth would you combine the celebration with a tem meeting? Separate the two and everyone wins.
  1. Wasting Time: Holding longer meetings does not always mean that you will get more done. When meetings are planned effectively, they should be done in 90 minutes or less. Make it a habit to begin and end on time. Team members will be more engaged if they know that the meeting will not drag on forever.
  2. Complaining: It’s easy to do, but can be a slippery slope that is simply counter productive. This does not mean that people can’t share their concerns, but instead of sending everyone in the direction of chaotic complaining, come prepared to share a solution with the team. This ensures that the conversation will be re-routed towards productivity and respectful brain-storming.
  1. Dominating the Meeting: Standing on a soap box, pointing fingers, and talking until the cows come home will accomplish nothing. Team members will mentally and emotionally disengage with the conversation. If you anticipate or know that a few team members tend to dominate the meeting, consider assigning a permanent point person to kindly remind everyone to stay on track.


Remember, these guidelines are designed to help you turn you meetings into a positive, productive experience. They will “move the needle” in a direction that makes your intentions a reality!