Get as many team members involved in your meetings as possible to strengthen their connections and make everyone more efficient and engaged. Learn about team roles such as facilitator, scribe, timekeeper, and energy manager.
- So, your meeting is set to begin soon. You've developed an agenda, sent pre-meeting notifications to attendees, and planned the overall logistics. You're all set, right? Well, no. It's time to think about how to share the responsibilities to make the meeting effective. It's helpful to get as many team members involved as possible. Have them share important meeting roles to strengthen their connections and make all of you more focused, efficient, and engaged.
These roles should be rotated so as many people as possible are involved in meeting responsibilities. First, consider having a meeting facilitator who acts as the process leader for the meeting. In order to be effective, a facilitator must be objective and able to get others to assume responsibility and take the lead for the various items on the agenda. If you intend to be the facilitator, you have to be neutral and put aside your own views and biases about outcomes.
If you can't do that, bring in a facilitator who can be neutral. That person can be recruited from inside or outside the organization or team. The key is to remain objective, focused on the outcome, and keep the meeting flowing. Make sure you're ready to navigate any disruptions that come up. Next, the group chooses a time keeper. Meetings often end when their time allotment is over. Ideally, they should end when the agenda has been completed.
The time keeper's responsibility is to pay attention to the passage of time during the meeting and make the team aware when the allocated time for the agenda item is approaching. If you are the time keeper for this meeting, you'll jump in and say, "Hey, we've got 10 minutes left for this item." This allows the team to decide whether the time spent on the agenda item is sufficient to offer an action step. Sometimes, the group determines that more time is needed and agrees on an extension.
As time keeper, you note the new time frame and the meeting continues until you remind them again of the time restriction. If there's disagreement on whether to add time or how much time to add, then the facilitator helps the group work it out. Another important role during a meeting is the scribe, whose job is to make note of attendees, absentees, any agreed upon action steps, who is responsible for its completion, and a date when it will be done.
After the meeting, the scribe sends this information to the team. During your meetings, it's likely that participants' energy will ebb and flow. The longer the meeting, the more likely it is to occur. Having a designated energy manager will keep the expected dips from derailing the meeting. The energy manager's job is to notice any drop-off, call the group's attention to it, and suggest a quick recharge.
Effective remedies include having everyone stand and stretch their arms to the ceiling or walk around the room for one minute or play upbeat music. These roles keep team members involved, engaged, and give them a sense of ownership and shared responsibility as you all seek to achieve your mission and goals.
- Identify the keys to success as a team leader.
- Explore management interactions commonly needed during the four team development stages.
- Recall the meaning of continuous improvement and what drives the process.
- Review the do's and don't of creating a team mission statement.
- Review how to use roles effectively during team meetings.
- Explore how to best use consensus strategies like thumbs up/down/sideways.