7 Ways to Change How You Lead Meetings to Improve Your Team’s Attitude

How often do you feel “dragged” into meetings? How often as a leader do you feel like you have to drag people into meetings when they’d rather be doing something else? No matter how hard we try, leading teams requires meetings. So how can we lead in such a way that meetings become meaningful and people feel like they’ve gotten something accomplished?

Is this what your team looks like after a meeting?

I recently read a very helpful article by Daniel Harkavy called, “7 Steps to Improve Your Meetings — and Your Team’s Effectiveness.” Below I’m sharing an abridged version of Harkavy’s list that I’ve rewritten to help me be more effective at leading meetings.  I’ve included a general list and a more specific list for youth ministry leaders. Hopefully by trying some of these suggestions you’ll notice immediate a change in attitudes among your team.

General Leadership Team Version

  1. Share with the team what my desired outcome is for this meeting.
  2. Each team member gives a status report on progress in their projects.
  3. Ask a question or two that creates tension or invites debate on an important aspect of our vision or mission statement.
  4. Make sure everyone participates… call out names if people are not engaging in the conversation.
  5. At end of meeting have each team member:
    • State an action step (what they’ll do).
    • Indicate a deadline (when they’ll deliver on their action step)
    • Clarify in their own words what they feel needs to be communicated to a person or the whole team (this gives the rest of the group an opportunity clarify if they have missed something crucial that needs to be done or communicated).
  6. Have one person take detailed notes and email everyone else the details of the meeting.
  7. Each team member schedules (before the meeting is over) a 1:1 follow up with any other team member who they need to talk with to gather any information or details that will be required to deliver on their action step.

Youth Ministry Version

  1. Share with the team what my desired outcome is for this meeting (1. Spiritual input, 2. Prayer for kids & schools, 3. Planning: upcoming activities and set up when leaders will pursue relationships with young people throughout the week, 4. Administrative details to cover, etc.)
  2. Each team member gives an update on progress in relationships with young people, prayer requests, areas where support is needed, etc.
  3. Ask a question or two that invites debate and productive dialogue on an important aspect of our vision or mission statement.
  4. Make sure everyone participates… call out names if people are not engaging in the conversation.
  5. At end of meeting have each team member:
    • State an action step (what they’ll do).
    • Indicate a deadline (when they’ll deliver on their action step)
    • Clarify in their own words what they feel needs to be communicated to a person or the whole team (this gives the rest of the group an opportunity clarify if they have missed something crucial that needs to be done or communicated).
  6. Have one person take detailed notes and email everyone else the details of the meeting.
  7. Each team member schedules (before the meeting is over) a 1:1 follow up with any other team member who they need to talk with to work together toward achieving their action steps for the week.

 Action Step

  • Before your next meeting, jot down how you are going to facilitate your meeting using these 7 steps. After the meeting evaluate how this structure helped effect the attitudes of your team members and effectiveness of your meeting.

 

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