TMBA 316: How Much Should I Be Meeting With My Team?

TMBA316: How Much Should I Be Meeting With My Team? post image

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In this episode Dan and Ian offer thoughts, suggestions and ideas on the best way to handle meetings as your business – and number of employees –  grows. You’ll also get the chance to ‘listen in’ on a Tropical MBA/Dynamic Circle team meeting involving Dan, Ian, Jessica and Alex – and hear about Dan and Ian’s very different styles of management.


Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • Why you should never ‘blow-off’ meetings. (3:28)
  • Which type of meeting is the most efficient. (4:44)
  • Why it’s important to establish who is the leader in a meeting. (8:04)
  • The advantages of creating an ‘office environment’ even when you work remotely. (9:37)
  • Why we believe in-person meetings are still important. (15:20)

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Dan & Ian

Published on 12.24.15
  • Great episode, thanks a lot for answering my question! I really liked Ian’s analogy about being the glue that holds it all together – it’s a bit how I feel right now. Empowering my employees is something I want to work on, also them having more and more their own meetings.
    I haven’t missed a single DC event but one – didn’t make it to Thailand this year ;( But excellent news about the upcoming European event! Really enjoyed DCBCN.

  • Ian

    You were there in spirt Robert! Thanks for the call :)

  • I MISS these old-style episodes where you guys dish on what’s working for you! More please :) Here’s what has worked for my distributed team of 3 (plus me):

    – In the beginning, we met every week, but we didn’t have enough to talk about so we switched to every 2 weeks. We actually don’t even really need to meet every 2 weeks because there isn’t that much to go over! But I found that switching the meetings to any less often than that meant a noticeable decline in morale among the team, which is super important!

    – As the team grew to two (besides me), I started doing one-on-ones with team members every 2 weeks and full team meetings on the off weeks.

    – Just hired my 3rd team member, and she now does her one-on-ones with a senior team member, not with me. That works wonderfully. When I bring on team member #4, they will likely meet with a senior team member and I will continue one-on-ones with only my 2 senior team members. Both scaleable and efficient.

    – Just as Ian said, blowing off meetings is a signal that something needs to change. As the leader, your job is to figure out what.

    – I also employ “retrospectives” periodically – gauging my team’s feelings about how things are going and get their feedback on how to improve them. See Brennan Dunn’s article on retrospectives here: I do them every couple of months.

    – Solid systems are the key to minimizing meeting frequency and maximizing their effectiveness.

    My biggest tip is to pay attention to morale levels in your meetings. Are people happy to be there and focused? If not, why not? If you don’t know, ask them. :)

    Thanks Dan and Ian, keep it up!

  • Hi Anna! Interesting, so far I had exactly the same experience. We didn’t have enough to talk in our weekly One on Ones. The thing is that we sit next to each other most of the time anyway so now it’s more of a bi-weekly or even monthly thing.
    I’ll look into doing ‘retrospectives’, sounds like a great idea. Thanks for posting it!

  • Awesome! Good question for TMBA, this is a stage a lot of us are in. Glad it’s working well for you :) Yeah, it’s interesting what you learn during retrospectives. So much info is there for the taking if we just ask our teams. Best of luck! :D

  • Damian Huising

    I enjoyed this episode because I am have some strong views on meetings. I’m interested to know what DCers and other Entrepreneurs think.

    Just say “no” to recurring group meetings

    The only good reason to meet regularly that I can think of is to build human relationships. For this purpose, it would probably be better to have a social meeting (lunch, coffee) where you don’t talk about work.

    Periodic deliverables and progress reports can be done asychnronously via project management software like basecamp, autotask, or posted on a group wiki or Sharepoint.

    If you have a reason to meet, take the initiative and send a meeting invitation.

    Include an agenda and list of what you intend to accomplish. This can be a list of specific tasks or a creative exercise (idea jam) with a specific end goal.

    Only invite people that are absolutely necessary to accomplish the meeting tasks or have a major stake in the meeting outcome

    The person who sends the meeting invitation is responsible for running the meeting, keeping the meeting on time, avoiding being side tracked, and circling back at the end of the meeting.

    Best practices is to take meeting minutes and posting them on the group sharepoint or wiki for future reference and follow-up

    If you are not providing or receiving tremendous value in the meeting, leave. If you do not leave, you are bing rude.

  • interesting about the recurring idea! i’ve found that our recurring creative meeting has been incredibly valuable, but then we have collaborative work that just needs to be hammered on every week.. i can see the no to recurring being a interesting idea on more ‘checking in’ type meetings.. those can turn out to be a drag.

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