Which Teams Perform Best

It seems that no matter where I’ve worked, what company, division, team, there is always a team meeting. And my experience has been that it happens weekly, whether it’s on a Monday, Friday, or any day in between, these weekly team meetings. I know in some instances, I was really excited for our team meetings – and in others, I absolutely dreaded them.

Now for leaders, what’s the reason for these team meetings?

Part of it is efficiency; to communicate some information that everyone is going to need to know, and you’re getting it done all at one time. I love efficiency, fantastic! But there should absolutely be other reasons for bringing a team together. And I hope you as a leader are also bringing the team together for things such as collaboration, idea sharing, and bringing the culture and the group together. But in order for those things to happen, the team needs to be able to speak up.

They have to be able to voice, to share, to say something in these team meetings. So as a leader, I really want to challenge you. First of all, are you allowing that space for that to happen? Just purely in terms of time. Are you allowing for that? And then, are there particular individuals that are not speaking up? And what can you as a leader do to increase the likelihood for everyone to speak up – and possibly speak more than you do?

I know there were circumstances, leaders that I had, where it felt very safe for everyone to speak up. And if somebody wasn’t speaking up, the leader was asking really solid questions to get other people to participate. Unfortunately, I had the opposite experience as well. Where, as soon as that leader entered the meeting room or boardroom, everybody shut down and was absolutely frightened to speak their mind, felt like they were there just to be receivers of information, or just didn’t feel empowered.

Imagine if that’s the space that you are creating as a leader, you are missing so many amazing ideas, so many amazing opportunities to bring something creative and innovative back to your organization.

So leaders today, evaluate your team meetings. Are you giving the space for others to communicate versus you standing on your soapbox to deliver information? And if there are individuals who are not speaking up, think about those ways that you could create opportunity for everyone, in addition to creating more space for that. New ideas, greater innovation, greater results for the team, for you as a leader, and the organization!