Best Practices for Effective Meetings

Having team meetings is one important office function that seemed to go by the wayside in many offices during the pandemic due to concerns for physical distancing. Team meetings should be important and productive. If run effectively, they are a great method of communication for your team, especially when trying to institute change. 

To keep the meeting atmosphere positive and the time productive there can be protocols put in place that the entire team will need to follow during meetings. You can create and follow your own set of rules of engagement. You can put in place a set of rules of engagement for accepted and needed behaviours in your meetings. You can develop a culture to achieve the results that you want. 

Always start your meetings on time and commit to a set finish time.

Assign roles to your team for each meeting and each role should change from meeting to meeting. Assigning these roles and tasks will help keep your team engaged in the meeting:

  • Timekeeper – keeps the meeting running on time and helps you from getting lost on some topics
  • Notetaker – takes down “who will do what, by when” and posts these notes for accountability
  • Facilitator – coordinates the agenda, ensures that there are times allotted and categories assigned to each topic
  • If you have a large team you may want to assign a Devil’s Advocate Role to help you find any holes in the ideas that you can address before the idea gets rolled out with patients.

Developing an Agenda is an important step in setting up a meeting. Your Agenda should not just be a list of topics to cover. The Agenda should include:

  • Each topic having an owner assigned to it and the owner will present it 
  • Each topic should have a time attached to it for discussion or presentation
  • Each topic can be designated as one of these three: Communicate – use this category when a message is being updated to the whole group, Discuss – use this category when a new subject or idea is being initiated and team insight is being requested and Decision – can be used when an important decision needs to be brought to the team for decision making.
  • The agenda should be shared with the team at least 48 hours before meeting time so that any needed information can be gathered, and team have had time to think about the topics.

Meetings should be about more than housekeeping items, very often meetings can spiral into negative venting sessions if housekeeping items are the majority of the items. 

A sample agenda for a meeting could look like this:

Team Meeting September 15, 2021 – 12pm to 1230pm

  1. Update on VOIP phone system installation and training – 5 minutes – Communicate – Susan
  2. New Patient Metrics and Referral Sources – Progress to date, any new ideas – 10 minutes – Discuss – Brittany
  3. Upcoming Marketing Calendar – Communicate – 3 minutes – Brittany
  4. Continuing Education Ideas for 2022 – 10 minutes – Discussion – Susan 
  5. Holiday party – Date and venue – 2 minutes – Communicate – Dr. Bob

Having a team meeting should be a good experience and not have everyone rolling their eyes during it. If you find that your meetings have become a time of eye-rolling and disengagement then look at your culture and decide to make the necessary changes to have the results you want and the outcomes that you deserve.

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