chapter caucus

Team Building Skills

Conducting Effective Meetings

Almost everyone has a story about sitting through a boring meeting. To have an effective team, you need to have efficient meetings. There are a few things that can help your meetings be productive:

  1. Hold meetings only when necessary. Avoid holding a meeting just because the scheduled date has arrived.
  2. Have clear objectives for each meeting.
  3. Have an agenda that includes:
  4. Include a neutral facilitator if the topic will arouse emotions.
  5. Circulate information prior to the meeting. Include the agenda, objectives, location, date, time, and any supplementary information.
  6. Start and end on time. This sets the tone that you are serious about the meeting and your teammates' time.
  7. Sit so that members can face each other, either in a circle, semi-circle, oval, or U-shaped pattern.
  8. Always review the agenda with all participants before beginning the meeting in case an item of importance has been omitted.
  9. Encourage group discussion and feedback, but avoid negativity.
  10. Stay focused on the topic of discussion.
  11. Be a role model by listening actively, showing interest, and contributing.
  12. Summarize responsibilities, agreements, and tasks before leaving the meeting.

As a meeting participant, you must:

After the meeting:

  1. Word process the minutes quickly from the meeting and distribute. The minutes should:
  2. Discuss any problems with appropriate team members.
  3. Team members must follow up on any assignments or tasks to ensure they are completed on time.
  4. Effectiveness of the meeting should be reviewed so improvements can be made at the next meeting.
  5. Include any unfinished business on the next meeting's agenda.

Effective Discussions

In order to have effective meetings, you must have useful discussions. There are a few things you can do to foster productive discussions in your meetings:

Evaluating Meetings

Your team should review meetings regularly. Evaluation will give you feedback in ways to make improvements. Here are some questions you might ask before and after a meeting:

If your teammates are uncomfortable discussing these questions as a group, you could provide short questionnaires that they could complete and submit anonymously. Once all surveys are received, if there are common concerns, you must address them.

Next section:  Communication

Team Building Skills
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Velda Arnaud, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Lead, Educate, Serve Society

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