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3 Meeting Fails Every Manager Should Avoid

3 Meeting Fails Every Manager Should Avoid

Your meetings will define you

We’re big proponents of effective meetings, whether they’re one-on-one or as a team. Meetings done properly help to provide clear communication, contribute to the decision-making process, inspire innovation, and bring the team together. Unfortunately, as we all know, meetings are notorious for wasting countless hours of time in the community banking world. They often turn into a blue-sky roundtable of ideas that never get implemented. They also waste time… did we mention that already?

We’ve come across a few articles suggesting that meetings be curtailed or even eliminated and then we’ve seen some that promote even more meetings. We’ve come to the conclusion that whether you like or hate meetings, the meeting isn’t the problem, but instead it’s the person leading the meeting who is creating most of the problems. Instead of having debates about meeting or not, the better discussion is figuring out how to avoid the pitfalls of leading the meeting. Here are 3 common meeting fails and a few tips for success.

1. The Group Hug

A group hug is when a manager decides to motivate the team by telling them what a great job they are doing. A good example would be when your branch hits its deposit growth goal for the month. The manager then tells the team they did a great job in surpassing their goal. We call this the group hug. It’s often followed by what seems like a kumbaya moment of singing and hand-holding by the campfire (don’t forget the marshmallows). The manager feels good about himself and his awesome motivational technique and the weak links of the team are thrilled that their lack of productivity stayed below the radar for yet another month.

However, the top producers, the ones that actually caused the team to exceed goal, know all too well who was responsible for the production… And it wasn’t the employees that just got the same recognition as they just did in the group hug. Group hugs are the business world’s equivalent of the participation trophy in kids sports. Don’t even get us started on that!

Action Point: When recognizing an employee for performance, make it individual and personal. Remind the employee of what she did, how it impacted the customer or team, and why it was important to you.

2. Mass Critiques

Another brilliant technique of many bank managers is to use the team meeting as a way of avoiding direct confrontation and actually managing. Think about the one employee who lacks the ability to show up to work on time. He’s always 10-minutes late or later. Everyone knows he’s late and wonders why he gets away with it. Then one day the manager decides to put her foot down by using the team meeting to proclaim that everyone needs to do what is necessary to arrive at work on time… “Or Else”. The manager just lumped the best employees in with the one offender. The only thing this passive-aggressive approach will accomplish is to make the manager feel like she actually addressed the issue, without actually addressing the issue directly with the one person who needed it.

Action Point: Deal with employee issues and non-performance in a one-on-one meeting.

3. Starting Late

First off, if you’re the one leading the meeting, get there early. If just one other person shows up on time, start on time. Starting a meeting late by waiting on the last straggling employee to arrive is showing complete disrespect for everyone else that arrived either early or on time. Multiply the number of employees in your next meeting by the number of minutes late that the meeting started and you’ll quickly see the amount of time being wasted. Additionally, by starting meetings late, you’ll also encourage those who show up early to start showing up later.

Action Point: Start every meeting on time without exception. See point #2 in dealing with the late arrivers. If you’re feeling bold and want to have some fun, try locking the door to the meeting room once the meeting has started!

Bonus meeting tips!

We’ve just scratched the surface on meeting fails and we’re sure you can come up with a few more. But before we end, here are some extra guidelines to help with your next meeting.

  • Make the length reasonable – 20 to 60 minutes is a good rule of thumb, depending on the frequency of the meetings. There are exceptions such as quarterly planning meetings.
  • Have an agenda – Distribute it ahead of time, follow it, and use it to keep the meeting on track.
  • Have a note taker – Appoint someone to keep notes of what was discussed.
  • Maintain confidentiality – If this needs to be explained in detail, you may have a problem
  • Follow up – Review the notes and follow up on all commitments.

The final step is to forward this article to all of your managers and have a brief and effective meeting to discuss!

SCMG, Inc.
9 Laurelwood Dr
Covington, LA, 70435
(800) 560-1127

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