Welcome to yet another article in Effective Leadership series. Leadership is not just about managing the team well and mentoring the team members. There are a lot more things a leader should be doing to increase the productivity of the team. Regular discussions with the team and individual members of the team is one such important thing to maintain the effectiveness of the team. The discussions with the team and team members can either be a formal or informal discussion. It can just be a common meeting involving the members of the team or even ad-hoc people to discuss some topic. This will not only help a person professionally but it will also help a person to become a better person. In most of the cases only during such discussions, many ideas emerge. An equal opportunity should also be given to the staff members to share their concerns during the meeting.
Being a leader, it is your responsibility to keep the discussion productive and to the point. In casual meetings, the meeting agenda is not a problem and it is not necessarily important to strictly maintain to the agenda that was planned. During formal meetings, every minute is important as we would have involved lots of people why might have other commitments. Their time should be taken into consideration.
Talking to the team
Team meetings should happen more frequently to keep the members aligned with the company goals and objectives. These team meetings can be used as a stage to share updates about the company as well as other general updates. The staff members can also be given an opportunity to share their views on the changes happening in the organization. These meetings can be very helpful in gathering feedback from the staff members. If a staff member is willing to share an idea with the leaders, this meeting can be used as the best way to communicate and popularize the idea. The discussions can either be with the team or with an individual. If it is with the individual, there can even be informal agendas that you can cover. Before having a team meeting it is good to inform them prior to the meeting helping them prepare well for the meeting. Every individual from the team should be able to make it for the meeting to get the recent updates from the leaders and also to share their views and ideas.
Be clear about the subject matter during the meetings. If the questions from other staff members are deviating from the discussion, you can just jump in and say that it will be answered later. A fixed agenda is always good for any planned meeting. This will be really helpful in managing the time. During the meetings, the organizer should be open for any conversations or questions. But at the same time, it is also very important that digressions should be discouraged.
All the meetings need not always be a formal meeting. The intention is to have a discussion with the staff member and understand what they think and improvise what we have been doing already. In such a process, all the meetings need not necessarily be a formal meeting all the time. It can even be an informal meeting. You can call a staff member from the team for a coffee break and have a quick chat with them. In some companies, most of the informal discussion happen only during the smoke breaks. This has even been advantageous. Informal meetings also help in discussing issues in detail and also without any hesitation. A good discussion will also give a good outcome. Informal meetings can even pave way for a better and stronger relationship with the staff member. It is also good to always try and have informal conversations with the staff members to make it very easy for the staff members.
Discussions should happen more frequently with the staff members. It need not necessarily be a meeting with the leader, encouraging the team to have a frequent internal discussion is also very important. Meeting regularly will also help in exchanging information with each other. It is the duty of a leader to facilitate or organize frequent meetings with the team members. Casual discussions are always healthier and productive for the team. Roundtable conferences can also be made based on the requirement. The main advantage in having a roundtable conference is that we will be able to get eye contact of every member present in the meeting. In some companies, there will be extra events and flash mobs planned to make the staff members more interactive with the team.
Discussions can even lead to a good friendship. With the help of meetings, the staff members also get an opportunity to share ideas and information. The infrastructure of the office also plays a vital role in making people be more interactive. It is believed that the open-plan office is more conducive to making the people communicate better inside the office compared to that of an enclosed roundtable office or cubical structure. Team outing is one of the best ways to get a good discussion with team members. Most of the team members get to know each other only through team outings. Compared to the office, during team outing, the staff members get lots of opportunities to talk to each other. Even if someone doesn’t even know their colleagues, the team outing meeting helps. The meetings can happen even outside the office with the group of individuals. The outside friends and socializing factors can be really helpful in building a strong working relationship.
A leader should always be on top of all these discussions and try to facilitate more and more discussions to make the team work effectively. Some leaders prefer to stay in private rooms. Though this helps in most of the cases, the real fun is when the manager and leader come out of their private rooms to communicate freely with other staff members in the floor.
Hope you had an interesting read. Share your views on this topic in the comments section.
My previous articles in this series: