Hey, I'm Shane!

Brisbane, Queensland

Meeting Training is one of the most important aspects for successful team working. It can be described as the skills, a team player needs to develop to facilitate his/her role within a group. Meetings are a common practice within most businesses and are conducted to discuss and organize future work schedules, update and strengthen existing relationships and to resolve issues and problems faced at present. These meetings can be very fruitful if organized properly, but it's very easy to slip into the 'dog and pony show' where everyone pitches in with little or no contribution from others, and the meeting just drags on.

I've observed countless meetings that went smoothly, and one might even say effortlessly. But when you look closely, you'll see that those discussions were handled efficiently and productively. That happens because everyone had understood what was expected of them and took the steps needed to fulfill that responsibility. In a successful team setting, everybody knows their role and nobody is allowed to step forward and take that role. Here are some of the key elements you should strive for during meetings.

Good meeting management skills are critical if you want to ensure that your team members understand the purpose of your meetings, and what they are there for. Remember, all good meeting management starts with your agenda; once this is decided, then the rest of the work will fall into place. You also need to think about time management - people don't get enough time to sit and analyze the issues, so if you can cut out half an hour, or at least ten minutes, then you will be able to make huge improvements. You will not only save time, but you will end up with a more productive meeting.

When you conduct effective meeting management, you are allowing each individual to contribute to the greater whole. When each person knows their role and what their part is in the success of the team, then they are happy to be a part of the team and look forward to working it out. Everybody has a part to play. If the meeting starts with a discussion about what everybody needs to contribute to the successful running of the meeting, then you are on the right track.

Once you have the basic structure in place for your meetings, then you need to introduce formal meeting planning. This should be done well before the meetings begin, to give everybody a chance to prepare and understand what is expected of them. A lot of people go into meetings without any structured outline or plan in mind, which means that after the initial introduction, the meeting becomes quite random. It is crucial that a team member knows what he/she is supposed to be doing before the meeting, and that the meeting is going to be controlled by a set agenda.

The best way to achieve this structure is through role playing. Each member of the team is expected to know what they are supposed to be doing at every point in the meeting. During role plays, you can start off by having a 'dry run'. This is where each team member sits in the role that they assume, such as a manager, and acts in that role. This will help everybody to get used to acting in that particular way, and everyone will be much more cohesive.

Once the role plays are over, you can move on to discussing team roles and responsibilities. During this part of the meeting, you can share who is going to be responsible for particular aspects of the team. For example, in the case of an accounting team, the finance department would be in charge of revenue and expenses, and the marketing department would be in charge of the advertising and promotion section of the company. The other departments would be responsible for particular departments within the business. The team meetings should be held regularly and these sessions should include a healthy mix of routine tasks and spur-of-the-moment discussions.

Finally, after the schedule and responsibilities have been outlined, you can start training. This should be done through exercises and simulated meetings, so that team members have a good idea of what to do when they enter a meeting. The whole purpose of meeting training is to act as a preventative measure, to ensure that everybody on the team knows how to work together effectively.

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