Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Total Quality Management - Effective meetings and teamwork

What is it?

The process of conducting meetings successfully to ensure effective teamwork, quality decision making, enhanced communication, improved morale and optimum efficiency.

When to use it

Quality Improvement Project Leaders should use this as an Aide Memoir to assist them in planning and running team meetings, and also to review and improve their meeting leadership skills.

Quality Improvement Team Members should use it to help them make the most effective contribution to their team meetings, and to get the most out of and help improve them.

All Managers and Staff who attend other business meetings should use the guide to help them make all their meetings Quality events.

What does it achieve?

Meetings are an essential part of business life. When you add up how much time you actually spend in meetings, you may surprise yourself: middle managers typically spend 35% of their working week in meetings; for top managers the figure is often in excess of 50%. So, if you are to maximise your managerial effectiveness, it is essential that you get the best out of meetings that you attend. However, for many people, meetings are seen as a Necessary Evil. You will have heard them say "Not another meeting!" "Meetings are just a waste of time", and so on. Think about the impact that a bad meeting has on the organisation.

Suggested Ground Rules

Always agree some simple ground rules with the meeting participants before the meeting proper starts. They make everyone conscious of the need for appropriate meetings behavior, and allow everyone to make a contribution to keeping the meeting on track by flagging infringements. Using agreed ground rules helps this to be done in a constructive way without becoming personal or emotional.

They also provide a means for a group to help the leader of the meeting by flagging unproductive or otherwise ineffective leadership behaviors that infringe the 'rules'. Here are some ideas to draw on; develop your own too:
  • Keep to time.
  • Be candid and honest.
  • Only one person to speak at a time.
  • Strive for consensus decisions.
  • Listen.
  • Share responsibility for achieving the objectives of the meeting.
  • Minimal paperwork; maximum face to face presentation.
  • Critique not criticise.
  • Avoid turning other meetings into problem solving sessions.
  • Review achievements and process at the end of each meeting.