management is what makes teams run efficiently. In order
to create and sustain a time management plan, organized regular meetings
are essential. Learning to plan and facilitate a meeting is essential
to having a powerful energized discussion. Facilitation at a meeting is
the difference between wasting your time and accomplishing the goal. Team
meetings have specific purposes to fulfill. They fulfill social and communication
needs including communicating data and results, recognition of being part
of a successful team, involvement in decision-making, goal setting, problem-solving,
work and improvements in work delegation, mutual support and enhancement
of the self esteem of the participants to promote creativity.
Planning a Team or Faculty Advisor Meetings
Meetings should be planned efficiently. There are specific guidelines
to planning effective meetings.
1. Decide on the purpose of the meeting.
2. Establish topics and objectives to be placed on the agenda.
- Determine participants.
- Do you need to involve staff or faculty in the meeting to facilitate
organizing the task? If you need to involve faculty in a meeting,
check their availability before sending out a time.
3. Plan logistics.
- What time are you going to meet? Looking at team members' schedules
when is the appropriate time to bring everyone together. Some teams
have a fixed weekly time that they meet with their team and when they
meet with their faculty advisor.
4. Plan with the team what evaluation criteria your team will use to
assess if the meeting is successful.
5. Arrange for the meeting place, if necessary.
6. Find the resources needed by the team for the week (can elicit the
help of other team members).
7. Prepare the appropriate agenda and
distribute 24 hours before the meeting asking team members for additions
8. Set weekly meeting schedules.
9. Effectively communicate all plans via e-mail to faculty advisor, team
members, and team coordinator.
Guidelines for an Effective Meeting
Preparing and Beginning the Meeting
- Bring copies of the amended agenda to the meeting.
- Set the tone of the meeting with your opening remarks.
- Spends five or ten minutes socializing or checking in with each other
to elicit team members expectations.
- Define and get agreement on agenda.
- If you do not have a team member who is the time keeper, the recorder
can be the timekeeper and help keep the team to its agreed time frame.
- The recorder
records the minutes.
- Guide the process along towards some form of resolution.
- Ensure that the ground rules are observed.
- Make sure each team member has an opportunity to contribute.
Maintaining Productivity Throughout the Meeting
- Keep to the agenda.
- Ensure balanced representation. If a person has not spoken for sometime
during the meeting, ask them for their opinion about what the team is
talking about. Establish the fifteen minute rule, that all team members
will participate in an meeting in the first fifteen minutes of the meeting.
Obtain agreement from all team members to move the facilitation process
- Support goal clarity and goal acceptance.
- Maintain the team through enforcement of ground rules, using active
- Summarize and explain how the ground rule effects the performance
of the team.
- Have each team member think about how the rule can be improved
to increase the effectiveness of the team.
- Ask open-ended questions, suggest ways to organize and communicate,
and check for consensus.
- Facilitate communication by actively listening,
supporting, differing, participating, reflecting, providing visual reinforcement,
and encouraging full expression of views.
- Make sure all team members understand decisions by asking clarifying
questions to test comprehension, summarize by restating the content,
and seek and give information. React to what team members say by disagreeing,
supporting verbal and nonverbal expression, and involving other team
members by inviting discussion and expecting an expression of their
- Initiate new ideas through dialogue and creativity. Support productive
dialogue within the team by building on other team member's ideas. Manage
decision making by facilitating the raising of major issues, the identification,
and thorough examination of information and alternative. Remember to
influence decisions so that they are based on task-relevant knowledge
and skill rather than external status and personal dominance. Make sure
the entire team takes responsibility for tough decisions. The tough
decisions you will encounter in meetings are varied. Examples are how
can you schedule more time to work on the project after an equipment
failure or how do you deal with one member who is not carrying their
equal share of the work and is imposing on the other members because
they are over extended. Encourage initiative and leadership by team
members who have appropriate skills to do specific tasks.
- Facilitate the development of appropriate norms for the team.
- Legitimize individual differences vs. conformity to "Party line"
- Encourage collaboration vs. withholding information.
effectively by neutrally promoting a team process of self-assessment
- Encourage task disagreement vs. norms that suppress conflict. When
conflicts or frustrations arise from inside or outside pressures on
the team, use productive conflict
resolution skills to handle the pressures.
- Focus team energy on the common task.
- Support reporting activities by recording ideas and results, and support
the communication of these ideas and results to the appropriate people.
- Use your influence by being positive and compliment your team members
- Brainstorm and bring pressing issues out into the open. Discuss them
fully, make time for unexpected pressing issues on the next agenda or
get agreement on extending the meeting time to resolve pressing issues.
Effectively Bringing the Meeting to a Close
- Actively listen by using summarizing the discussion and any decisions
made at the meeting.
- Update the time management plan and summarize the activities for the
- List and allocate action items. Delegate tasks and record the estimated
times and the team members doing the tasks.
- Survey team members to evaluate the meetings content and process.
Ask clarifying questions.
- How productive was the meeting?
- How well did the team communicate?
- Review team norms and goals at the end of every meeting.
- Ask if all team members are comfortable with their ability to use
their knowledge and skill to do the tasks they are performing.
- Set next meeting time. Acknowledge the reporting activities for the
team, i.e. write and e-mail weekly team
progress report to team.
- Communicate with the faculty advisor and teaching assistant assigned
to your team and set up the meetings so the advisor and teaching assistant
can attend if they wish.
- Review the team's time management plan and make any adjustments needed
for the team member's schedules until the next meeting.
How often should you hold a team meeting?
You should hold a meeting for one hour at least once a week with
your team members. All meetings should have an agenda, which is e-mailed
to all participants by the team leader of your team 24 hours in advance.
A team meeting is used to coordinate work, set goals, plan work, review
progress, time management, problem-solving, brainstorming, and discussion
of team process. Meetings are structured to promote creative participation
by all members and to support self-management of tasks. The first
weekly team meeting covering team formation and formulating action
plans, must include the following:
- Setting Goals
- Time management plan that includes how to develop the project.
- A system for brainstorming ideas, including how you will present
your ideas and make decisions.
- Utilizing decision-making procedures.
- Identifying, defining, and setting the quality requirements for
- Developing an action plan for reviewing the task assignment process.
- Decide on type of short informal meetings, to maintain communication
between the weekly, formalized meetings.