Assigning process roles for your team meetings helps maximize productivity, and enhances your team’s communication. Establish conditions of satisfaction to get agreement on acceptable outcomes for your project.
- Teams function best when there's a plan in place for how their communication will be managed. A great way to set your team up for success is to develop a team charter, or a document that details the ground rules for how your team will operate. During the chartering process, you'll want to define roles and determine conditions of satisfaction. As the team's leader, ultimately you're responsible for managing the overall flow of communication within the group. That being said, this doesn't have to be something you take on alone.
It's a great idea to delegate some of these responsibilities. Not only will you take a few things off your plate, it will also keep other members of your team engaged. Some key process roles to consider are meeting convener, recorder, and monitor. The convener is a role that the team leader often takes, at least partially, if he or she is accountable for the final outcome of the team's efforts. Convening includes everything from determining whether or not a meeting is needed to ensuring the agenda is developed and shared, to scheduling the actual meeting time and place.
The recorder is responsible for keeping detailed notes on the discussion that takes place during the meeting. Notes should include a list of participants, a summary of the discussion associated with each agenda item, and a list of next steps. Any follow up items should have names associated with them so that it's clear who will be acting on whatever next steps you've discussed. Shortly after each meeting, this person should send a copy of the minutes to the team to give participants an opportunity to clarify or add to the document as needed.
The action items from the minutes are often a topic of the agenda at the next team meeting. A monitor will help the group stick to the agenda items and keep the discussion within the time allotted. Keeping groups focused, particularly if you're meeting virtually, can be extremely challenging. It's really easy to get off topic. This person should feel comfortable interrupting the discussion if it goes off in a tangential direction. When this happens, the monitor may ask the recorder to note that this topic needs to be an agenda item for a future meeting.
In addition to communication related roles, it's important to make sure everyone is on the same page for project related outcomes. A commitment team should consider are the conditions of satisfaction for the initiative. These are the minimal requirements to reach completion of the project. Conditions of satisfaction are different than goals. If your team's goals are on the high end of what you hope to accomplish as a group, the conditions of satisfaction are on the low end. What's the bare minimum everyone will be comfortable with having completed? For example, for students, the goal in a course might be to earn an A on an assignment, but the condition of satisfaction would be a passing grade.
Teams often set lofty goals initially, but adjust their expectations once the work requirements are understood. Having a clear definition of what is acceptable before you start your project will save you time and frustration down the line. Assigning roles for communicating in team meetings and establishing conditions of satisfaction will help ensure everyone on your team stays on the same page. You can get started with this in the team charter document in the exercise files.
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- Defining roles and commitments
- Managing conflict
- Establishing and maintaining trust
- Creating a shared vision and focusing on objectives
- Providing feedback
- Structuring time for reflection
- Holding teammates accountable
- Communicating in face-to-face and virtual meetings
- Communicating across job functions and across cultures