Many people come from semi-governmental backgrounds and in these cases people think that they can solve everything with meeting. This is true to some extent but it is not the result we may need at all the time.People are not machines that a same code goes and works on them on and on an done of the most problematic things that new startups are going after is conducting too many meetings and that can be a very dangerous thing for the team work. Today we want to take a look at this concept and check why meeting can be savior and killer of fresh startup.
Meeting, gathering and casual discussions
The very first problem is that people mistake gathering and group sessions with meeting. Meeting is an official event, you have a starting time and ending time, people who are supposed to participate in meeting should get the memo beforehand and subject is always clear. On the other hand we have group sessions and in group sessions, many things may come up, people may add and removed from discussion at any time and there are many other things that may come up without any prior plan. The third part of this discussion is casual gathering. These type of gathering can happen beside a vending machine or in the elevator and they may even be extremely short.
So when do we need each one of them? Let’s start from the bottom,casual gathering can happen with any reason, they may happen with the goal of team work improvement, a manager can see his or her team when they want to grab a cup of coffee and talks to them about daily things and routine tasks and even hints on their performance. These type of events can happen all the time and you may face 30 of them in a single working day. The main thing is planning for these gatherings. You must have a plan to talk to your people about constructive things and not only chit-chat. But remember that you should not take it too serious and turn it into a full scale meeting. Take a short step toward your team in each session and then before you know it, you will be in track and people will mimic your working style. Using this method you can share knowledge and information without making it a hard thing to do and the whole team connection will be greater than ever.
The next thing is group sessions. As a manager you can calla couple of people and talk to them about any specific content. There is no need for them to get ready for this and you can think of it as an agile method of sharing knowledge. You should expect small problems to get solved using this method and these kind of discussions may last up to half an hour or longer. You can make use of these type of gathering because it is not official and it doesn’t have the mental pressure of a meeting on people so you can conduct them frequently without damaging your team work.
Finally we are there for the meeting. Meetings are official,they are like generals with badges and uniforms and they cannot be taken lightly. To conduct a meeting, you should have a plan and know what is going on before and what you want to gain after the meeting. You should have e plan for all participants and they should come in ready to be questioned and come with a proper reply. These things makes a meeting a little bit trickier than what most of the people think. Meeting has stress on people and they have to spend time preparing for it so having it regularly can be costly for your performance.
When and where?
OK now that we have the concepts covered and done, we got to say that meetings have their own timing, you cannot conduct them anywhere, and they need a proper place that no one else can disturb the flow of event. This means that you can’t make a decision and just turn it into a meeting in the same day. Never go for meeting without prior notice because people may need to prepare some documents and data in order to make the meeting effective.
On the other hand going a long time without any meeting swill give the wrong signal as well. People should know that things are serious and they have to commit and represent what they have to offer. This can be done using meetings and you should have them at least once per month. In the meeting you can control the team in different ways but there are many things you should consider for each meeting type and that’s the story for another article.
But what you have to do is to avoid too many meeting. It can kill the team work by causing unnecessary stress on people. They should spend their time working instead of attending meetings a couple of times per week. You may think that you have seen people who spend most of their days in meetings buyout have to remember that we are talking about startup management and not the sale department. You are going to have a meeting with your team and people whom you work with every day and that’s totally different from all other types of business.
Our best suggestion is using gatherings and casual discussions as frequent as possible but leave the meetings to emergency situations and time based intervals so you can get the most out of it. People will listen to you in casual gatherings and you will face them without stress and pressure but, you can use these talks to build up their mind toward a specific road and make them work with you in the meeting without being forced to get ready in a short amount of time.
You have to remember that it is just like and old eastern saying: if you want to hold a sparrow in your hand, you should maintain the perfect balance because holding it too tight will kill the bird and keeping it too loose will allow the bird to fly and run away. The same goes for your team and if you conduct too many meetings, you will kill the team and if you forget about the meeting then the team may fly off and goes out of control before you can even understand it.
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