Rachel Provan is the creator Provan Success, a Customer Success leadership coaching firm, where she helps new CS leaders develop their strategy, team leadership, and mindset skills so they can build revenue-generating CS departments while maintaining work/life balance
Let’s just say what we all already know: most weekly team meetings are boring.
And a big reason that’s the case is –many of these meetings don’t need to take place. In a word, they’re often pointless. When it comes to meetings, keep this golden rule in mind: if the content could have been an email, you’re making a huge mistake.
Now, does this mean all meetings are irrelevant? Of course not. Meetings can be nothing short of magical – but they have to serve a specific purpose. But with a few guiding principles in place, your meetings will go from meaningless to unmissable.
The Only 4 Reasons to Hold Meetings
It’s time to reframe how we look at meetings. Meetings aren’t for updates – they are discussions. That means they require a back-and-forth exchange of ideas between the participants.
Ultimately, the goal is to:
- Share ideas
- Solve problems
- Make decisions
If those four points can be hit, you’re on track for a successful and efficient meeting. Remember, just like every customer interaction should deliver value, so should every internal meeting.
While many touchpoint meetings can be eliminated, I do believe there is still value in the weekly team meeting. Here is how I structure my CS team’s weekly meetings and why.
Two Days Before Meeting
Here’s where we get the ball rolling. All team members add their read-only updates two days before our meeting takes place. These updates comprise anything the team should be aware of, but won’t require a discussion at the meeting. This helps keep the team up-to-date without any monologues.
One Day Before Meeting
Team members will read and add comments to the read-only updates. If someone thinks an item does require a discussion, they can move it to our “Discussion Topics” section on the meeting agenda.
Here’s a look at our agenda and the reasoning behind what’s on it:
We kick off each meeting with a recap of something good that happened that particular week.
- This includes one personal “win,” as well as one professional win.
- This helps bond the team and connects us as people at the start of each meeting
These wins don’t have to be huge, and should only be as personal as each team member feels comfortable with. “I spent the weekend with my family who I hadn’t seen in two years” is just as acceptable as “I had a really great sandwich last week – here’s what was on it”.
Progress Towards Quarterly Goals
Note: this is not a check-in. This is to remove blockers and look at metrics together to strategize.
A few questions to keep in mind during this section:
- Why do we think this number went up or down?
- What did we do differently?
- Is X initiative having an impact?
Again, I want to stress these are not updates; these are things the group has decided they need to discuss or something the leader wants to tell the group personally so they can ask questions.
This is an opportunity to share what our team is hearing from our clients.
That includes: what are we hearing from customers; common feature requests; do clients love a new feature?; is a bug affecting outcomes?
This is an important section of the meeting, because discussing these findings together helps our team determine if issues are a one-off or a trend.
What Did You Try This Week?
Here’s an opportunity to ask “what worked well?” – as well as “What crashed and burned?”
This is a point where we show it’s safe to try things. If something worked well, it’s critical to share it and let the whole group try it, too! And if something went horribly, it’s an opportunity to warn each other so that the same mistake isn’t made twice.
The CS Leader needs to go first to show what worked and what didn’t for them. This lets the team know it’s ok to fail, so long as you learn. It also gives them insights into what it’s like to be a leader, should they want to pursue that path.
Finally, this is a place to list things to do or decisions that were made, and what needs to be done next.
It should include the action to be taken, tag the person responsible, and list the date it’s due.
Give this framework a try for the meetings you have coming up – I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the structure and pacing it provides. And if you’d like to learn more about how I can help you learn to set strategy, remove obstacles, and lead with integrity you can learn more about my 1-on-1 coaching packages by clicking here.