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What is the point of a team meeting? Are they a talking-shop, or a vital organizational function?

It might feel that sometimes, we have meetings for meetings’ sake.

Team meetings shouldn’t be a chore or a matter of going through the motions. If your team meeting feels like that, then perhaps it’s lost its purpose.

Here are some of the benefits of a team meeting – are your team meetings doing these things for you?

  • They’re great for building supportive relationships – team meetings give team members a place to help each other and offer their support.
  • They’re vital for learning about our colleagues’ motivations, fears, hopes, troubles, etc.  – even when it isn’t actually said. 55% of any communication is conveyed through non-verbal means, and face-time is the only way you can read it.
  • Team meetings provide us with a ‘safe’ environment – it’s an opportunity to share information we wouldn’t be so comfortable sharing by email, or in a report.
  • A team meeting is a level playing field and an open forum – everybody present shares the same opportunity to communicate and listen. Everybody gets the chance to speak, and hear what’s said, anybody can have their say and make suggestions.
  • They play a vital role in leadership – the team leader uses team meetings to rally the troops, clarify the mission, and everybody’s part in it. Leadership is difficult if a leader doesn’t engage with followers. Equally, followers won’t get what they need if they don’t engage with their leader.
  • Nothing can replace the intimacy – the closeness, security and intimacy of a team meeting, especially in times of crisis, can be vital. It’s difficult to replace a physical meeting with conference calls and video conferencing. Sure, given no other opportunity to get together – conference calls will have to do – but if you can get together in person, then it’s much more rewarding to do so.
  • Team meetings allows attendees to lift their head out of day-to-day operations – it’s so easy to stay on mission and in the weeds. Team meetings create an air-pocket for attendees to focus on something else, and work on cross-functional tasks together.
  • They create a space for giving each other feedback – members can use meetings to offer feedback to each other, as long as it is pitched at the right level. Team meetings shouldn’t be used to provide feedback that is critical, but rather should be done in one-on-one meetings.
  • Team meetings are a learning and improvement opportunity – meetings are an inevitable part of business and organizations. Whether you like them or not. So team meetings are a good place to learn about the wider organization, how to work in a team, how to manage a team towards its objectives, and what improvements a team can achieve together.
  • They’re a great reminder, after all, that we are in fact in a team – and not alone!

Let’s bring back the successful team meetings and make them work for us.