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How to Have Effective Team Meetings

Transcript 

Kathy (host): 

Hello there and welcome back to Help! My Business is Growing,  a podcast where we explore how to grow and build a business that is healthy and sustainable. I'm your host, Kathy Svetina.

 

Kathy (host):

The great Canadian American economist John Kenneth Galbraith once said, "Meetings are indispensable when you just don't want to do anything." This tongue-in-cheek sentiment is a very familiar one because many employees worldwide silently whine about how meetings are often boring, they are unnecessary, and we've all heard this meeting could have been an email and just a black hole that sucks their time and productivity into oblivion.

 

Kathy (host):

But team meetings are a vital tool for any growing business, whatever the size, and when done right, they can increase creativity, they can foster teamwork, can solve problems, and achieve your business goals faster. But when done wrong, or if you're just not doing them at all, it can lead to feelings of isolation among your employees, and a lack of innovation. It can lower your employee morale, and you can actually have a higher rate of employee turnover. And in worse, you can have longer sales cycles, or even a big drop in sales because no one's really talking to each other, and they're not taking the time to sit down and just hash it out. The question is, how do you run meetings that are productive and will motivate your team?

 

Kathy (host):

And just a quick reminder, before we go into this episode, if you want to take home some tips from our guests today, and trust me, there is a lot and a lot of good ones. All of the episodes on this podcast, including this one, come with timestamps for topics that we discuss, and each one has its own blog post as well. You can find all the links and the detailed topics in this episode and show notes. Go ahead and check that out.

 

Kathy (host):

Today, my guest is Danny Hadas. He is the Founder and CEO of The Emovation Project. He is a number one best-selling author, entrepreneur, and former adviser to the world's most iconic brands. His work has impacted millions of people across 500+ companies worldwide, including companies such as Disney, BMW, and AT&T. As the founder of The Emovation Project,  Danny teaches service-based small businesses how to double their revenue without doubling their effort using minimalist leadership. Join us.

 

Kathy (host):  

Welcome to the show, Danny.

 

Danny (guest): 

Hi, thanks for having me.

 

Kathy (host): 

I'm super excited. You're here. I really am. We're gonna be talking about team meetings because I think it's such an important topic for growing business. Because as the company grows, you start adding more and more people to it. And it becomes important to have team meetings so that we can keep everyone on the same page. But as incredibly important as they are, it can also be a huge waste of time, because most meetings are ineffective because people just don't know how to run them properly. And trust me, I'm no exception. I've struggled with that, too. Let's start at the beginning, if a business owner is not completely sold on the importance of team meetings, and sees it more as a nice to have versus a need to have, what do you see happening in the businesses where people just don't have regular team meetings?

 

Danny (guest): 

Yeah, it's a great question. And I really do get it, we've all been part of some really crappy meetings. And after a while, you can start to think they're a waste of time. But here's the deal, Kathy, when you don't make time for team meetings, this is what happens.

 

Danny (guest):

The first thing is your people, they begin to feel isolated. And they start to click there on their own, you know, with a group of people, but they're doing their work. They don't know what anyone else is doing. They don't know what's going on in the business. And because of that, they start to feel disconnected from the company's mission, and what part they play and bring it to life, why their role even exists.

 

Danny (guest):

And after all that the result, Kathy is, they start to wonder if they can find something more communal, elsewhere. I've said it once, I'll say it 1000 times, human beings are pack animals. They need to be part of a herd. And if you don't make time for team meetings into people who are responsible for powering your company's performance in your company's profit, they'll start daydreaming about what would be like to work somewhere else. So that's what happens when you don't have team meetings. If you think they're a waste of time. Think again, by not having team meetings, you're actually giving people permission, really say goodbye and walk out the door.

 

Kathy (host): 

And how often should you have these team meetings? Are we talking every week? Are we talking every month? Every quarter? It probably gets a little different as the company grows, if you have 10 people, it's going to look different if you have 20, 50, or 100 people, right? How does what how does it look like in practicality?

 

Danny (guest): 

Well, so in practicality, let me first address the intention of any team meeting. Yeah? The intention of the team meeting really ought to three things; you want to foster a sense of collaboration, teamwork, and camaraderie. And to do that, Kathy, you only need a team meeting once a month for one hour, because once a month,  one hour for that month is all you really need to create a sense of collaboration, teamwork, and camaraderie. One team meeting once a month for one hour is all you need to keep your people connected to how your business performing and why their role even exists, why your business exists. So that's what you do once a month, one hour, I think that's pretty reasonable and doable.

 

Kathy (host): 

Yeah. I think that that's great guidance. And let's say that you have zero team meetings before. Now, you're sold on this. I want to have team meetings because I want to keep my people energized, and want to make sure that they are on board with the vision, and the mission that the company is going for, you're super excited, I want to do this. But how do you communicate that change to your people now? Because now you're going from absolutely no meetings to now having a meeting once a month? Or maybe even what you want to do it more often than that, depending on what you know, what makes sense for your business? And we all know that people are kind of reluctant when it comes to change. How do you communicate that appropriately so that people actually see this as a good thing versus Oh, now they're starting to micromanage me?

Danny (guest): 

Yeah, so a couple of things on that. If you're going to have your meetings more frequent than once a month, you really might get pushed back. And in my view, you really don't need that. Once a month, one hour, is all you need. No matter the size of the business, honestly. But the way to do it, if you especially if you've not had team meetings to date, you've actually got to get into the world of your people.

Danny (guest):

What my experience has been to this point, that you haven't had team meetings. And when you communicate that you're going to start having meetings, you actually did take responsibility for that experience that they had, "Hey, I can imagine that not having meetings. You might have felt like you were just doing your thing and not really part of a team. You might not feel connected to the other members of the company, and I just want to let you know that I take full responsibility for the experience you've had. I envision supervision as to why you're even having these in the first place. Maybe you envision a connected team. If you envision what I said before fostering an environment of teamwork, collaboration, and camaraderie, you share your vision. And so because of this vision, I'm now instituting once-a-month meetings where we can insert what your intention of those meetings are. And that will actually give people a sense of "Oh, man, you're the leader. You're telling me you messed up. I respect that you tell me what you're doing about it. I'm excited for this opportunity connected to my teammates."

 

Danny (guest):

The people who really want to be working with you will show up, and we'll be excited for the change the people that maybe you should actually think about having other conversations with, they'll be resistant. And that's kind of how that goes when you've got raving fans working for you. They're gonna go along with the change. As long as you communicate it effectively. And when I just laid out is one way to do that. The people who aren't raving fans are really are people you want working for you anyway. They might still push back after that point. And then you get to decide what you do with that.

 

Kathy (host): 

Yeah, that's a good point. It really comes down to what I've noticed in businesses that I've worked with, when they start implementing changes like this, having more structure in the meetings, having more structure in the business, the people that push back the most are those that just do not fit the company culture anymore.

 

Danny (guest):

Exactly, exactly.

 

Kathy (host):

Yeah. And that's when you have to have these hard conversations and think through is, maybe it's time to hire new people because people that got you here might not be the people that will get you into the next step.

 

Danny (guest): 

Exactly. And you know, to that point, Kathy, let's say you have a team meeting, let's say you got 20 people on your team, and five of them don't want to be there. Well, the other 15 people gonna notice that.

 

Kathy (host):

Yeah.

 

Danny (guest):

They're gonna see it. They're gonna feel it. And so they kind of over time as you create change within any team business, no matter where you are. People don't want to be there that weed themselves out because of whatever structures you're putting in place. So yeah, it's one way to identify who doesn't belong anymore.

 

Kathy (host): 

Yeah, it's one of those things, if you leave the bad apple rotting in with the other ones, it will just spoil the rest of them. Don't do that to yourself. Don't do that to your business.

Danny (guest): 

Exactly.

 

Kathy (host): 

Now, that you you've communicated to the team, you're sold on this, I have to start doing the team meetings. How does that look like in practicality? Let's say that you have it on the book every end of Thursday, at the end of the month, you have a team meeting. What is the best way to structure it? Is there and also timewise to should you have a team meeting in the afternoon? Should you have a team meeting in the morning? Does that matter? How does it look like in practicality?

 

Danny (guest): 

As far as when to have and I think that time, there's no right answer in terms of when to have it. If you weren't sure what to do, you could always survey your people and let them decide based on a couple of options, but you could have at the beginning of the day, you could have to have at the end of the day, you could have in the middle of the day.

 

Danny (guest):

Really, if you have the mindset that "I don't want to distract my people at the beginning of the day and I want them to come to work and get their stuff done faster," and that's your mindset, then have at the end of the day. If your mindset is "I want to get my people energized and start on the right foot and really inspire that day, have it a first thing of the day. If you're of the mindset of "I want to break up the day and really have them looking forward to something in the middle, and then have them really feel energized towards the end," have it in the middle of the day. You can do either in terms of when there's no best answer when during the day. Does that make myself clear on that one, Kathy?

 

Kathy (host):

Yes, yes.

 

Danny (guest):

Okay, cool. As far as what to cover, there's not so much debate and variability there. There are four things that you should cover in any team meeting. I'll cover each one, and then I'll pause when I'm done covering that one. You can ask me whatever you want about that particular thing? Is that cool?

 

Kathy (host):

Yep.

 

Danny (guest):

All right, cool. The first thing I tell everyone to start with is reviewing the brand; its mission, vision, and values. Now, why? What was your view of the brand? Well, because likely you're in business, there are other people competing with you, and your employees, your team, they can do what they're doing just about anywhere. Why are they doing it here? And why are they doing it with you? When you reconnect to the mission, vision, and values? You've given everyone a chance to revisit? Why am I here? Why do I choose to do this work here at this company? How are we making a difference? And how is this enriching my life by being here? You've got to start by reconnecting to the mission, vision, and values. I just want to make that real for you, and that was that actually looks like.

 

Danny (guest):

One of my favorite examples is with a wellness center that I serve as one of my clients. And what they do is they put up their values, and they have every single person on the team. Their team is smaller. They have every single person on the team read one of the values that most resonates with them. Everyone gets to choose one. And eventually, they all get read aloud. And so everyone gets to reconnect to the value that most resonates with them. And again, it's a very good reminder of why am I doing this here. And so for you, and anyone on their teams, you could read them aloud to everybody. If you have a very large team, just have maybe four or five people share which one most resonates with them and why and you have a conversation about it. You can start the meeting by discussing one of the values, did diving deeper, but you no matter what you got to revisit the mission, vision or values or all threes that people know and remember why they are here. Get them inspired about paying here. Let's just pause there. I know that was a lot. We just pause there and see what you want to say about that.

 

Kathy (host): 

This reminds me because in my previous life, I was in corporate, and I still vividly remember we would have these mission, and vision values on the walls, and I never really thought about that. But it did make sense because they're right front and center as you walk through these hallways, or if you're going to the meetings, they're right there. And if you don't agree with those you are going to have, it's not going to be comfortable for you to sit in those things. But I think that's why I never really put that two and two together why they do that. This was a great reminder. What do you think it's the best way to have this front and center? Would it maybe have a poster on the wall? Would it maybe be like have a thing on the table where you meet so that they're like front and center in front of you?

 

Danny (guest):

In terms of keeping it front and center, during the meeting, you want to just either have everyone have, if you're meeting in person, give everyone a piece of paper, or if you're maybe displaying them on screen, if you can in person if you're doing it virtually, share your screen. I think if you're talking about or trying to have a headache, keep it top of mind while people are working.

 

Kathy (host):

Yes, exactly.

 

Danny (guest):

Here's the thing, if all they are is just some pretty poster on a wall, they're meaningless. The best companies and all my clients use their values to measure team and individual performance. In a performance conversation, we are you embodying our values, let's talk about each one, and you get measured. Are you embodying this value some of the time most of the time or not, most of the time, that gets discussed. That's how you keep it alive. You actually use it by recruiting in performance evaluations like that. No longer is becoming some pretty poster become the way you operate your business. And when you have values that really work, they can be used to measure someone's performance. And that's how you keep alive every single day.

 

Danny (guest):

Just the other day one of my clients had to have a performance conversation with an employee because this particular employee was not living one of the values and that value is integrity. Doing what you say you're going to do by when you'll say you'll do it. And that was a conversation they got to have. That was actually a very empowering conversation. What I'd say about that. Sure, you can have a poster, those are great. They also do have a poster for each value that was actually created by the employees themselves. That was one of the tasks they have is to create ways to keep it front and center. But really, it's about having your people measure up against those values frequently.

 

Kathy (host): 

So what is the second step? Now that you've revisited the values revisited the mission in the meeting? What is the next step that you do?

Danny (guest): 

Yeah, so once we got the warm and fuzzies got to get down to business. We gotta talk about the numbers. Yeah, we got to talk about the numbers. How are we doing?

Kathy (host):

I like where this is going.

 

Danny (guest):

Yeah. How are we doing as a team? What are we accomplishing together? See? Every single employee needs a sense of personal attention, individual attention. What am I doing to contribute and how am I doing in my role? Well, how am I growing in my role, but if you just stop there, then that person views themselves as an individual contributor, they can do what they're doing anywhere. What keeps them with you, is when they realize that their contribution is part of something bigger than themselves. They're part of a team that's working together towards a common goal. You've got to open up the books and share about how the team is performing. Whatever you do to measure your company's performance, you gotta discuss with the team and make it real for them about how they've contributed to that performance.

 

Danny (guest):

Now, look, if you're working inside of a big, big, big corporation, it might be difficult to share how Lizzie or Johnny contributes to top line revenue. However, every single team can have its own monthly team meeting and that team has its own set of measurables, and you can talk about how each person contributes to those. There is a cascading ability to this conversation. But the bottom line is, you got to talk about the things - the measurables, the KPIs, you use to really discuss how is it you measure performance? How are we doing as a company as a team, that's the next thing you talk about as the second element of a proper meeting agenda in my view.

 

Kathy (host): 

Yeah, and the important, the key here is to have those KPIs, the key performance indicators, whatever that looks like for the business, you have to first decide what is it that I really want to track? How can I track it? Do I have the capability of tracking it? And how do I share that with the team, but you do have to decide which are the KPIs that you want to share? And I know that people get usually confused. It's like, which ones do I want to track? And how does this really look like? But at the end of the day, it just has to be something that is meaningful to you as a business and something that you can share with the team. I do want to ask you this. Is there such a thing as oversharing? With the KPIs and especially on the financial side? Or do you think that it's good to have transparency with the team? What is your take on that?

 

Danny (guest): 

My view is that open books are never a bad thing. Being transparent is never a bad thing. I think that a lot of people, especially in small businesses, and Kathy, I know you and I have served mostly small businesses, a lot of people go to work at small businesses forget they're working at a small business, and the exposure to expenses and the ability to make investments is a lot. The sensitivity to it for the business owner is extreme. When we're booming, we can make investments. When we're not, maybe the owner is taking a pay, cut in order to keep everyone's salary going. Sharing these kinds of things, and making people aware will have them potentially, depending on the way you share it, which is what I coach people specifically on the way to share things, but it can have people operate with a sense of gratitude, which is always a good thing.

 

Danny (guest):

Again, I'll tell you a quick client story. Another employee of one of my clients was complaining about. We call them Wellness Guys, essentially front desk associate. And she was complaining about her pain. She said, "I can go work at this very large company working in there as an attendant to the cash register, make $1 more an hour."  Okay, well, that is a multi-national company. And you can go do that if you like, and what this person isn't aware of what they could be aware of what I coached my client on about this was like, "Hey, let her know that her salary of, let's say it's $15 an hour, that guaranteed hourly wage is actually more than you get to take home some months." Because as the owner, you make decisions about your pace. You keep the business going. Now again, is it profitable, is it a super profitable business right now? No? Are they on their way? Absolutely. So they sometimes have down months, because they've made a big investment in something else? Yeah. And as the owner, she gets to choose. And so every month if she were to share transparently where the business is performing, people might operate with a sense of gratitude. They might be more inspired to do even more work so that the company can grow even faster. Long answer to it, a very simple question. I believe in transparency. I believe when done properly, it can actually rally the team to work even smarter and perform even greater than they already are.

 

Kathy (host): 

What is the third step now that you've shared the KPIs, you told them how we're doing in the business? Maybe we're doing super great, everyone's excited? Or maybe we're not doing so good. What is the next thing that happens after that?

 

Danny (guest): 

Yeah, so you'd address any questions about performance first, but then what I coach all my clients to do is to actually open the conversation up. We talked about bad meetings earlier when got started. Bad meetings are typically ones that's dominated by the single person talking. And a bad meeting is one where you're listening to someone and it's not really relevant to what you're up to. How do you make the conversation relevant to anybody while you open it up to anyone on the team to share about upcoming goals, challenges, and victories they've achieved? Anyone can share about a victory they achieved, a challenge they've got coming up, or a goal they want to accomplish.

 

Danny (guest):

And while we're celebrating victories, and while people are sharing challenges and goals, everyone else is listening for, "Oh, this person has this challenge. How can I help? This person has this goal, how can I help them get there? And so all of a sudden, you're creating the framework for teamwork, creating the foundation for a teamwork environment that fosters teamwork and collaboration. And so everyone who wants has an opportunity to share about a victory they achieved, a challenge they have that they're facing or a goal that they want to achieve.

 

Danny (guest):

Then you get everyone else sharing about how they can contribute you set up meetings outside. "Okay, so you two are going to have this meeting to talk about this goal that you have Kenny, and you to lease are going to set up this talk about this goal that you have like that. And that gets everybody talking?"

 

Danny (guest):

Now, that's a question people always ask us. "Well, how do you make sure people share?" There's a couple of ways to do that. One, if you're meeting with your people individually, and we're talking about team meetings, but you stopped having individual meetings, you can actually plant the seeds if people say, "Hey, I really would like for you to share it next team meeting about this." Then you get their alignment, you have them share it like that.

 

Danny (guest):

But as you continue to share more vulnerable yourself about the numbers and things like that, people will actually want to share more about themselves. See, it's like a top down thing. You have people connect to the brand. You share from the top down how we're doing as a company, and you acknowledge people celebrate how we've done, even if we haven't met our goals, you still celebrate. And then you invite them to share about themselves, they'll feel safe to do so because you've already shared vulnerably about what you see for the business. So that's how that works. You share about victories challenges and goals as the number three item on the agenda.

 

Kathy (host): 

What would you say in a business that you start doing this, and I know this can be a little bit rough as you start doing is because you've never done it before. It's not going to be as smooth. But when you ask people about to share the victories and challenges and people share challenges, and you have an expectation that people are wanting that they will jump in; wanting to help other teammates, but it just kind of falls flat. It's like crickets. Everyone is crickets. Is that a problem? Or is that just something because it's new? Or maybe it's a cultural issue? When do you decide that there might not be? Maybe you have a problem here? What do you do in that case?

 

Danny (guest): 

If you have multiple meetings where no one shares and or people share, and no one wants to contribute, first need to confirm that nothing's actually happening as a result of the meeting. Let's say several people shared but no one actually provides any feedback or hops in there. You want to go to the people who shared and ask them, "Hey, did anyone approach you about the challenges you're facing or the goals you want to achieve and jump in to support you?" Once you confirm whether the has or hasn't happened. Then in your further individual meetings, you can actually ask people, "Hey, we've had some people share during team meetings about their victories, goals, and challenges. What's that been like for you? Really find out from people what that's actually been like for them. Because any assumptions we make are based on what was the conversation we're having in our heads. You actually have to get out there with your people and find out what that experience is like for them and adjust accordingly. But that's how you'd handle that it's really you have to start doing is putting on your investigative hat and start doing some research as some investigations with your people to really find out what that experience is like for them.

 

Kathy (host): 

We revisited the vision and mission, we share the KPIs of the company. Now everyone's sharing the victories and challenges, things are moving along. What is the last piece? The fourth piece of the meeting?

 

Danny (guest): 

Yeah, you end by sharing about important updates about the business or people in the business. I can give a couple examples, and let me answer that question first. You want to bring up and address anything that could be on your people's minds.

 

Danny (guest):

For example, if you are a business that on a retail setting, people coming into your storefront. You might be talking about the latest COVID safety rules. And you don't want people guessing about how you're handling these kinds of things. Yeah, maybe someone is moving on, and you want to celebrate their tenure with you. Or maybe there was something that happened and it needs to be addressed. Or maybe you guys are moving locations. You need to talk about some of the logistics of the move. The point is to really address anything that you think might be in the minds of your people.

 

Danny (guest):

Now, why would you do that? You do that because if you don't address it, then they get distracted by thinking about it. And when they're distracted, they're not focused. If they're not focused, they are not performing. When you address what's on your people's minds, you actually give them peace of mind. Peace of mind. And with peace of mind, they can focus. If they can focus, they can perform. Any important updates that you think might be relevant to the folks on your team, it could be business specific, or it could be something really great happening outside.

 

Danny (guest):

It was in 2010. 12 years ago now, I was doing my first triathlon, and I was at a team meeting, and they all knew and they're all kind of celebrating that with me. I'll never forget one of my co-workers, one of our good friends at the time said to me. He always said with this accent, he goes, "Danny, I want you to swim like a fish. A bike-like lands. Run like the wind and say hello to the finish line." And he always said with an accent. That was our team meeting. You can celebrate anything at that point. You can bring up anything that would be on the minds of your team. Everyone knew I was doing this. I was afraid I was going to drown in the water. We talked about it and was really cool. And that was 12 years ago, I remember it forever. Anything that would be on the minds of your people is what you want to wrap up with any journey. You don't.

 

Kathy (host): 

Yeah, and it also brings that human touch in there as well. Because now you're, if they're sharing something that's important to them personally, then you get to know them as a person too. It has that extra added benefit of that personal touch. But what if there's something really important happening in your business? And it's on everyone's mind, and they come into the meeting? And that's all they're thinking about? Is there a case where you would rules are sometimes made for breaking as well, that you would go and break these four step rules and start instead of going with the mission and the vision first, you would actually address the thing that's most important and on everyone's mind so that then the meeting can flow through and not everyone is distracted by this new shiny thing that's happening right now?

 

Danny (guest): 

Yeah, I'm so glad you actually brought that up. And really great job thinking of that, because guess when there is something that's so pervasive, it needs to be discussed immediately, you should take the last agenda segment, which is important updates and bring it to the front and back. My clients actually start their meetings with important updates first, because of that very thing. You don't want people sitting through your meeting distracted waiting to get to the good stuff. If you need to, you can always move that later, and it's like the optional piece. You have to cover all four of those things to have an effective team meeting, I'm not going to sit you must stick to the order. But I'd recommend either the sequence I gave or I would move item number four, it's item number one, and then go through that way. Covering the brand should always come either first or after important updates without equivocation. It can be nice to end on victories challenges and goals to his gear ending on a sense of teamwork. On a note of teamwork. Yes, there's absolutely room to move important updates the front, Kathy, really good.

 

Kathy (host): 

And if you're ending on the victories and challenges, hopefully, you're ending on the victory so that everyone goes off in the meeting with a positive mindset as well. You've covered all these four pieces, either you started with the most important topic at the beginning, or you started with a vision and the mission at the at the beginning, depending on what's going on. How do you wrap everything up?

 

Danny (guest): 

If you're wrapping up with important updates, you could really share your updates. You'd invite any questions, any comments, anything any wants to share? And I always like to end by asking, "Is there anyone who wants to share something before we wrap up today's time together?" And then you let someone share. And then always, always, always thank people for joining. Because really, they're giving their time, they're giving their attention. They're giving their energy, and they deserve to be acknowledged for that. And so no matter what always end by thanking everyone. Really, look, if you're a business owner, and you're listening to this conversation, and you have a team, you have to realize that the only reason why you have profits is that people are doing this work that you've assigned to them. You have a team that's performing because you've given them a job, but they're giving their time and energy. Please acknowledge them at the end of every meeting, for the energy and time and dedication, the passion they bring, to make one of your dreams come true. And that's how you end the meeting effectively. And that's how you really keep people engaged. That's what I would say about that.

 

Kathy (host): 

Yeah, that's a great mindset to go into the meeting as well that you're there to nurture the people to nurture your business. And essentially, they bring you money, right?

 

Danny (guest): 

Yes, your people power your performance, your people power your profit, and you the business owner, power your people. You power your people.

 

Kathy (host): 

We've talked about how to do this. But is there anything that you believe should never be discussed in a team meeting environment?

 

Danny (guest): 

Well, so my answer to this is, I don't know if it's clear enough to let me know. You can clarify for me. But I have a strict no-gossip rule. And so that is we don't have a conversation about someone who isn't there in such a way where other people in the conversation, their perception about that person might change; good, bad, or otherwise. You don't do that in a team meeting.

 

Danny (guest):

Let's say someone's moving on, but negative circumstances are less than ideal circumstances. For example, what you wouldn't do is say, "Well, John is leaving us and Johnny's a rope. He's a real ass. We're glad he's gone." You wouldn't do that. Instead, you say, "Everyone, I just wanna let you know that Johnny is leaving us. He's moving on to something else. And if you've any questions about that, you can definitely ask Johnny and you can talk to me about it one on one." That's how you would approach that. It's really I think my answer to that question Kathy's you wouldn't discuss the individual who can't be there in such a way that would leave anyone feeling anything other than great? If it's outside of those four topics, it might be tangential. So you wouldn't go off of the agenda in order to address something else was really, really critical that you did, and in that case, you would make gonna dress that some other time. But no, not really. I mean, I really do think it's fair game. I think anything's fair game and I have a firm no gossip policy.

Kathy (host): 

That's a good rule. And I agree with this one. How about timewise? Should you keep it, I'm assuming it would be about an hour, but not more than then maybe 90 minutes at the top. What's your take on it? How long should this meeting be?

 

Danny (guest): 

One hour, once a month.

 

Kathy (host): 

That's very straightforward. Good rule.

 

Danny (guest): 

Yeah, one hour, once a month. It doesn't matter if your team is larger. The bottom line is you've got people who are giving their time. One hour, once a month is all you need.

 

Kathy (host): 

What happens if I mean, this is great, probably it has certain limits, like maybe up to 30, 50 people were. But there comes a time when you're adding so much more people into your team, that you might not be able to have this type of format that is productive. Because if you have 100 people in a team, right, it becomes impossible to do this. What do you do? In that case? Do you structure so that you have a team meeting with the sales team, you have a team meeting with marketing, and you have a team meeting with operations? And then maybe you have a team meeting with the leaders of that? How do you structure that in that case?

 

Danny (guest): 

First, I'll have to respectfully disagree. It's not impossible to do it this way with a larger group. And I'll tell you why.

 

Kathy (host):

Okay.

 

Danny (guest):

Because instead of having everyone share, you just have several people share. In the branding, instead of having everyone share which portions, the brand elements resonate with them, you'd have three or four people share. And then you still go over the numbers and the numbers of the numbers, right. If you're a company revenue is going to be one of the ways you measure performance, profitability might be another way to measure performance. If you're having a very large group, and you've department sales, operations, and marketing like that, you might not go through KPIs that are relevant to everybody, in which case, you would maybe have separate meetings for those people. They can select that you'd have separate meetings.

 

Danny (guest):

But for the larger group, you can go over the top line, and KPIs, and you can find a way to make it meaningful to everybody. For example, you can say, marketing contributed because they did this great thing. And operations contributed because they did this great thing, and whatever. So you can find a way to have everyone see what role they played in it. And when you get to the victories, challenges, and goals, instead of having everybody, maybe two people for each department. One person for each department. And that way, that department has an opportunity. And when someone from let's say, on the sales team, there's someone on the marketing team. Someone from marketing shares, I can see if there's something I can do to support that person. And then you get that cross-department collaboration in one meeting. And then important updates. You get the important updates that be relevant to everybody and you don't get the important updates that are really relevant to a single group. And that's how I do it for the large, large group. Then you could always have breakout sessions, either during that time or in a separate venue for departments. So that's what I would say about that, Kathy.

 

Kathy (host): 

Yeah, and I really liked this too, because it's important as the team grows, as the company grows, you're going to start if you don't have these team meetings, you're going to start experiencing silos. And when you experience the silos, then the sales are not talking to marketing. And marketing is not talking to the operations. I mean, you really need to be this cross-pollination of ideas and know what each team is doing so that everyone can essentially do their job the most effective way.

 

Danny (guest): 

Yeah, absolutely. So I think a monthly team meeting for one hour is possible, no matter the size of the group, the content will have to be tailored, and the number of shares gonna have to be reduced, but still possible. And I'm still a big fan of it. Still a big advocate. Because the alternative is we don't spend time together as you said, then you're siloed and people don't really aren't familiar with each other. And that's never good.

 

Kathy (host): 

Yeah. Yeah. And that's what happens in bigger corporations in and we come from that environment. We've intimately experienced that and it's not a good thing. Never a good thing.

 

Danny (guest):

Nope.

 

Kathy (host):

We've talked about team meetings, but I also want to touch very briefly on the one-on-one meetings that you have with people as well.

 

Danny (guest):

Sure.

 

Kathy (host):

Because I think it goes it kind of goes hand in hand. How long should those be? And how often should that be happening?

 

Danny (guest): 

Thirty minutes, once a month. If you're the team leader, you have a 30-minute- once-a-month meeting with every person on your team, just once a month, 30 minutes. And what I say about that is no matter how many people on your team, if you can't carve out 30 minutes in your day, to meet with the people, meet with one person on your team. Got to look in the mirror and see what we're doing as team leaders. As a leader, you've got to find 30 minutes in every single day if your team size warrants meeting with someone on your team. Someone who powers your team's performance. You got to make that time. 30 minutes once a month. You got five people? It's only five meetings.

 

Kathy (host): 

How about the structure of it? Should you follow the same structure that you have in this team meeting or should that be a little bit different,

 

Danny (guest): 

Totally different structure. The structure of the 30-minute meeting is threefold. The first thing you talk about is mostly you're the team leader, and I'm the person you're meeting with. The first thing you'd ask me, you say, "Hey, Danny, what's working well about your role and your experience here at this company, on this team, and with me?" And I'm telling you, and that same agenda item, the second question, you'd ask him that agenda item, you'd say, "Okay, what's not working as well as you'd like it to about your role and your experience with the team with me in this company? And I would tell you." Then, the second agenda item is you say, "Okay, so the things that aren't working as well as you'd like them to? What do you Danny, to do about them? Because me the leader, Kathy, I'm not going to solve it for you. What do you see to do about that, and you coach me about taking new actions, so that those things that aren't working in both life and to become things that are working well?" And then the last thing you'd ask me is, "Okay, so between now and the next time they meet a month from now, what do you want to accomplish? And how can I support you?" And I would tell you, and then when we start the next meeting, we'd actually start by reviewing what I wanted to accomplish, what I actually get done, and what got in the way of me producing the results I was asked to produce. And that just continues on and on and on. Once a month, 30 minutes every month.

 

Kathy (host): 

That's very clear. Danny, this was great. I absolutely love the tips that you gave us so useful, and so actionable. And I always ask this, to every single guest that comes on this podcast. I asked for one tip only. And if someone now has spent had no idea how to do these team meetings before, now they're sold on it, they really want to do it. But they need that like one thing to get them closer to the goal. What is the one actionable thing that they can take into their business to get them into team meetings in the next month?

 

Danny (guest): 

Schedule it. Put everyone on your team on the calendar. That'll light the fire.

 

Kathy (host): 

I love that. Thanks. Thanks for coming to the show, Danny. Where can people find you?

 

Danny (guest): 

You can find me on emovationproject.com. That's E-M, as in Mary, O-V-A-T-I-O-Nproject.com. And there's a connect with me button. You can press that scheduled meeting. I'd be happy to chat with you.

 

Kathy (host): 

All right. And I will also put that in the show notes as well. And you can see them there. Thanks so much for coming, Danny.

 

Danny (guest):

Thanks for having me, Kathy.

 

Kathy (host):  

Thanks so much for joining us. And I hope that today's episode has given you tips on how to run effective and productive team meetings. In the next week, we are going to continue this topic of meetings. And we're going to talk about how to run effective one-on-one meetings, and how you start to implement them in your business. If you have never done that before. It's going to be an episode with Debbie Rosemont. And it's going to be really, really good. So check it out and make sure that you listen to it.

 

Kathy (host):

Also, if you love this episode, all the timestamps show notes blog posts and links can be found on the website, newcastlefinance.us/podcast. And before we go as always, I do have a favor to ask if you listen to this on the Apple podcast. Please go to the show and tap the number of stars that you think the show deserves because it helps other people find it. Thanks so much. Until next time.