Meetings have been a part of businesses since the beginning across all sorts of industries. They allow leaders and employees to have a clear idea and goal of what needs to be done. However, traditionally meetings have either been long, boring, or mundane. Meetings can become more of a habit than an actual necessity, sometimes meeting on a daily or weekly basis when there is no need to. Meetings can also hold a false sense of achievement, as they feel as though the team is continually doing some sort of work.
In recent years, it has become exceedingly important for businesses to have efficient and organized meetings that are beneficial for the entire team. Meetings should have clear objectives, an end time, a designated leader, organized sparingly, intimate meetings rather than large groups, create action items, and end with (possible) solutions.
The most important takeaway for organizing meetings with your team should be to only have a meeting when there is something worth sharing. This should be the only time that a meeting is scheduled. If there is nothing of value to add, then it will simply be a waste of the team’s valuable time.
Even the automotive industry can’t escape from the absolute necessity that is effective meetings. Within the industry, there are constant changes occurring, whether that be due to a competitor or simply the industry going through a flux. Whatever the case may be, it’s important for your team to be aware of their tasks while keeping you updated on all things.
Effective meetings, not only make things interesting for your employees, but they actually achieve more than simply throwing a meeting on a whim. These high-energy, less frequent gatherings can aid in decision making and problem-solving situations.
So, how can you, as an automotive dealership manager, manage and execute effective meetings that not only boost the employee morale but actually achieve the tasks at hand? We’ll be going through the top ten tips to help you achieve the best results during team meetings.
10 Tips for Organizing Effective Meetings
Keep A Positive Attitude
As a manager, one of the most important things that you should do is to maintain a positive attitude about meetings. In order to do the most basic functions of meetings, such as achieve results, problem-solving, decision making, inspire, inform, motivate, and collaborate, managers, need to work closely with their employees/team. Though it might mean anything from a conference call to physically meeting in one room, meetings cannot be counted through chain emails or email conversations.
Own the Meeting
The agenda of the meeting should not be delegated to a team member or an administrative assistant. As a leader and dealership manager, it is your job to call meetings, therefore making it your meeting. So, it’s important to ask the right questions when preparing for the meeting, such as what is the goal that you want this meeting to achieve?
Prepare an Agenda
Every article or research study has proven the importance an agenda can have for the flow of a meeting. Preparing an agenda, not only helps you identify the important topics that need to be discussed, but it also helps you and your team focus on the tasks at hand.
Ask for Input Regarding the Agenda
Though it might be a dealership’s manager’s responsibility to create an agenda, it might be helpful to also gain insights from other team members. There might be certain topics or issues that they wish to bring in to the meeting. This not only encourages collaboration, but also boosts the team morale through communication. Simply send out an email to your team asking for any ideas or points they wish to add to the agenda.
Remember, meetings are not only for sharing information. They are also an excellent time slot dedicated to solving problems or making important decisions that require the whole team’s input. It can be ‘messy’ and challenging to gain the opinion of numerous individuals, but it might also give you outlooks that you might not have thought about.
Allow For ‘White Space’
It’s important to leave white or blank spaces within your agenda. It should never be micro planned to the second or jam-packed with too many discussion items. Not only will this stress out the team members, but it also will be robotic, which won’t help with the meeting morale. Allocate some time at the end of a meeting to allow for spontaneous discussions which encourage engagement and creativity. If there are no more items on the agenda to discuss, but there is still time in the meeting – simply let everyone get back to work earlier.
Change It Up
Variety can sometimes completely change how individuals view meetings. It can be as simple as celebrating something recent or changing the location to engaging in a brainstorm. Some ideas include:
- Celebrating something
- Conduct a ‘learning round’ (team members take turns to teach others something)
- Switch up equipment (e.g. table orientation or chairs)
- Change locations (e.g. off-site meetings)
- Invite guest speakers (relevant to the meeting agenda)
- Watch a Ted Talk episode (relevant to the meeting agenda)
- Incorporate some interesting and fun food options
- Implement lightning round updates
- Encourage team brainstorming sessions
- Team building activities
- Occasionally try out a ‘single item’ meeting
Lighten the Mood
Being the manager does not mean that you constantly have to flaunt authority. Chastising a member for being late in front of their fellow members can be an example of abusing power and flaunting your authority. Instead, you should try to incorporate humility and a sense of humor into your meetings to keep an ease around the employees.
Remember the action items taken from the meeting and follow up with specific individuals in charge of those items. It can be pointless to organize another meeting with half the items incomplete. Follow up after the meeting and before the next meeting as well as hold those accountable to their commitments to the project.
Be A Role Model Leader
Though it’s important to add a sense of humor to the meetings, as a leader you should not let the meetings get too out of hand This means holding your team and yourself to the highest conduct standards, including:
- NO sarcasm
- NO cynicism
- NO off-color jokes
- NO bashing other departments
- NO bashing other management
- NO picking on your team members
As the leader, you have to strive to be a kind but firm leader that gets the job done, regardless of what challenges are thrown your way. Having an opportune time where you get to meet with your team members and discuss the tasks at hand should not be thrown to waste. It’s important to develop an agenda that helps you to lead meetings and push forward initiatives.