In your organization, do corporate vice presidents meet weekly to discuss trivial and mundane business-line updates? Do they meet just to discuss their weekly calendars? How about your front-line employees? Do they have these kinds of worthless, unproductive meetings?
People waste a lot of time in meetings. Sometimes the nature of the meeting is to blame. Sometimes the team or leader is to blame. Dysfunctional teams and leaders tend to hold dysfunctional meetings.
In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni writes a lot about how dysfunctional behavior can keep teams from reaching their potential. He also describes the five characteristics of successful teams:
- They trust each other
- They argue in a respectful manner
- They commit to the mission and a decision
- They follow through and do what they say they will do
- They celebrate their successes
Trust is the first item in the list and arguably most important. Without trust, your team won’t argue respectfully, commit fully, follow through effectively, and celebrate wholeheartedly. Teams that don’t trust each other also tend to have the most worthless, unproductive meetings.
If you want to have better meetings, your team members need to be more trusting and trustworthy. When team members trust each other, they will come more prepared to commit and, yes, to argue. Trust allows team members to take risks and disagree–because they know that somebody will have their back.
Increasing trust is a surefire way to improve meetings, but it’s not the only way. We have done a series of posts on how to have more productive meetings. Discuss these posts with your team and, please, stop having a meeting just because it is Monday morning.