Making the Most of Team Meetings
"People aren't washing up their own lunch dishes"
"The laundry door needs a new handle - should we get a round one or a different type" (cue 9 minutes of discussion on handle specification)
There are plenty more examples, but this is just two. Two examples of wasted time in team meetings. Okay - stay with me. I know it is important to work out who is dumping their dirty coffee cup on the side of the sink, or leaving their slimy salad bowl in the staff room, but there are better ways.
Let's start at the beginning.
Why do we even have team meetings?
Many teams meet monthly for a couple of hours. In my experience, it is typically the only time we all come together and have the opportunity to share our knowledge, ask questions, support one another and reflect on our practice. And yet, for many services, team meetings can quickly become a time to tick off tasks and talk through trivial matters.
The importance of team connectedness and reflection
Working as part of a team can be challenging at times, but it can also be incredible. We have the opportunity to learn from others who have different experiences, knowledge and perspectives than us. And when we come together for a team meeting, we are able to strengthen our relationships and reflect together.
I can remember being introduced to the educational approach used in Reggio Emilia, Italy, in the early 2000's and being amazed. Obviously the aesthetically pleasing environments and stunningly thoughtful documentation lured me in, but I remember hearing about a team who sat down to lunch together each and every day and talked about what projects were being explored, how the environment was working, learnings from their practice and more. I remember thinking - that would be AMAZING. Okay, so that's not particularly practical for most of us, but what if we took that idea and applied it to our monthly or bi monthly meetings. What if we used that time for reflective practice and team development rather thank ticking boxes?
Save the minor stuff for a communication book or memo
The time we have together is precious - let's keep the dishwashing issues to a team communication book (our digital, printable diary helps here). Let's focus on growing our knowledge and evolving our practices, when we are all together.
*** We've put together a FREE one page guide to "Making Meetings Magic" which includes 6 simple strategies that you can implement in your service. You can download it HERE ***