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Effective Team Meetings

Effective Team Meetings

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In this lesson, students explore tools and strategies for effective team meetings.

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Source: Globe, Clker, http://bit.ly/1CVSonk; Thinking Person, Clker, http://bit.ly/1EmDSQV; Paper, Pixabay, http://bit.ly/1QXL7eA; Meeting Table, Pixabay, http://bit.ly/1ezay51; Notebook, Pixabay, http://bit.ly/1FJ2IuL; Word Art, Provided by the Author

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Hello there, and welcome to this lesson called effective team meetings. Although the word meeting can sometimes be met with rolling eyes by busy teachers, they are an important part of what we do, when they run effectively, that is. In this video, we will look at the tools and strategies to do just that.

I asked some colleagues what comes to mind when they hear the word meeting. Here's what they came up with. It's easy to see from this list that the range of emotions meetings generate is far and wide.

If you're having a meeting and you hope to be productive, you need an agenda. When your meetings have a consistent format, they will be far more effective. Therefore, developing a format and using it with fidelity is crucial. Here are some important things to keep in mind when building any agenda.

Items you include in the agenda should be aligned to the school improvement plan and/or purpose of the team. Agendas should follow the agreements embedded in a professional learning community. Include only items that must take place during the team meeting. Allow adequate time to address each item on the agenda-- I actually like including the expected time next to each item. And be clear about what is expected from team members as a result of the meeting.

From a clerical and organizational point of view, remember to include the agreed upon norms, the topic of the meeting, what time the meeting is taking place, the person responsible for the meeting, and its purpose. It also helps to include your school and district goals. This will keep everyone's eyes on the bigger picture.

Meetings should begin with a review of the agreed upon norms. When I'm in a meeting now and that doesn't happen, I feel compelled to say something. It's also important to set the framework for the meeting by briefly reviewing the agenda and expectations. Members don't want to be talked at during meetings.

The structure should allow them to engage in productive dialogue. And schools are about students and learning. Although obvious, we need to remind ourselves of that fact, and point out that the work being done at the meeting will impact student learning.

Do you want to run a productive meeting? It's really not that different from running a productive classroom, athletic team, or even a family. Here are some tips.

The professionals in your building have a lot to offer and want to feel needed, so do your best to engage all of them. You'll want to start by providing clear directions and clear expectations for everyone involved. Voting will alienate members. Therefore, when decisions are being made, work towards consensus instead.

Take the norms seriously and adhere to them. They are much more than just words on a page. And end your meetings by establishing expectations for what needs to be completed by the next time you meet.

Minutes, of course, are a record of what is accomplished or discussed at the meeting. They also outline the next steps and identify the people responsible for those steps. The recorder or note taker is also the one responsible for taking and sharing the minutes with members and any other relevant stakeholders, as well. The notes should include the agenda items that were and weren't covered, a record of the discussion that took place, any decisions that were made, and the next steps that need to be taken and who is responsible for them.

It's important for teams to monitor the effectiveness of their meetings. This will help to continually improve them. One way of doing this is with a plus minus delta. Many teams actually make doing a plus minus delta the last item on their agenda. I've also seen facilitators encourage members to write notes on stickies during the meeting and place them on a chart on their way out.

The steps to get you going with this could be something like this. What went well during the meeting that will help us reach our goals? What did not go well during the meeting or got in the way of reaching our goals? And what should we do next time to have a more effective and productive meeting?

Let's summarize what we went over in this video. We looked at the importance of agendas and what to include in them. We also looked at effective ways to run a meeting and what to include in the minutes of a meeting. And finally, we talked about using a plus minus delta to help evaluate the meeting and make it even better for the next time.

It's time for today's food for thought. The next time you're in a meeting, make a mental checklist to see how many of these tips were actually followed.

For more information on how to apply what you learned here, please check out the additional resources section that come with this presentation. The additional resources section include links useful for applications of the course material, including brief descriptions of each resource. That's all for now. Thanks for watching. We'll see you next time.

Notes on "Effective Team Meetings"

(00:00-00:16) Intro

(00:17-00:30) Meetings Are...

(00:31-01:33) The Agenda

(01:34-02:07) The Meeting

(02:08-02:47) Productivity

(02:48-03:22) Minutes

(03:23-04:00) Meeting Evaluation

(04:01-04:47) Summary/Food For Thought

Additional Resources

Advancing Student Learning Through Distributed Instructional Leadership: A Toolkit for High School Leadership Teams

This handbook from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction includes best practices for school leadership teams. In addition, this handbook includes strategies and resources for effective meetings.
http://winss.dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/imce/statesupt/pdf/distributed_leadership_toolkit.pdf


Leadership Lesson: Tools for Effective Team Meetings - How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love my Team

This article provides an insightful overview of running an effective and productive team meeting. The article includes challenges that may occur during a team meeting and how to address them.
https://www.aamc.org/members/gfa/faculty_vitae/148582/team_meetings.html