Steps to Management Success – Step 25: Make Sure to Get the Whole Team on the Same Field

Written By Rick Frishman Published March 31st, 2010

STEP TWENTY-FIVE

Make Sure to Get the Whole Team on the Same Field

When you’re working on a project or task that involves more than one person, it’s almost always a good idea to have everyone meet, physically or over the phone, at the outset. This kickoff meeting helps ensure that everyone understands the big picture, it helps formally establish the team and bond the members, and it helps everyone at least begin on the same page. Quite often, the wisdom of a group will be more than the sum of its parts.

WHAT IT MEANS: People simply do better work when they understand how their efforts fit into a larger whole, so the motivational value of this practice alone is quite substantial, but having an introductory project meeting has other advantages too. People prefer working with people that they know or, at least, have met—and such a meeting can establish the lines of communication necessary to achieve the work ahead. Critical junctures can be identified. Deadlines can be more easily delineated, and things to do can be delegated on the spot.

Thirty minutes with everyone in the room can save days of telephone tag, e-mail reply lag, and “I’m still waiting to hear from Jim” delays, so go ahead—schedule the meeting!

ACTION PLAN: Meetings are almost impossible to pull together on very short notice—so, if at all possible, don’t! Do your best to give people adequate notice as to when meetings will take place and what will be on the agenda. If certain people will be making formal presentations at a meeting, make sure that they know this and are well prepared. Being that specific about it makes it more real and more important in people’s minds.

EVEN BETTER: At the end of your meeting, make it a point to schedule the next meeting. It’s easier to gain this kind of group commitment when everyone is all together. People will be rushing out and saying, “I’ll call you later.” Nevertheless, insist on setting a firm next-meeting date right then and there.

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)


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