We know we’re going to have to have staff meetings. We know these staff meetings are usually once a month at the least and once a week at the most. Often times these can prove burdensome especially as things pile up throughout the school year. However, these meetings can also be a perfect opportunity to demonstrate our leadership skills. The question I ask myself is: how can I use this meeting to support the vision, empower the staff, and create confidence in my leadership skills? The following are six ways I’ve found to highlight my leadership competencies. If I do these six things right the staff walks away thinking that they’re in a great place.
Pre planning, it works
When you have planned meetings, on your calendar, include an extra five minutes in that time block. Use that five minutes to prep for your meeting. This extra five minutes alone will cut down on the time you spend in your meeting. You can use that time to choose your goal, gather your materials and get your thoughts together. Too often we’re running from one meeting to the next and a lot of time is wasted trying to get everything situated. If these are set meetings you also wanted to make sure that the team you are meeting with is also ready to go when they come in the room. Everyone being prepared will help ensure that the meetings do not run over.
Back in the day
Think back to your time in the classroom. Each meeting you have should have it’s own process. Everyone should know what to expect. These norms should be set in the first meeting. If you are working with data your should have a routine that you consistently use to dig into that information. You don’t want to spend time each meeting figuring out the how. Having a set routine will help eliminate wasted time.
The one thing
For each specific meeting have one main goal that you would like to accomplish for that particular session. Walking into a meeting without a clear vision of the outcome you would like will lead to discussions with no ending in sight. You can easily get off task with any number of issues that are seen as important. In order to limit the time of the meeting have a clearly stated goal on your agenda. In doing so, you have one lense that can filter out the extraneous conversations.
This isn’t an easy thing to accomplish. Having only two or three things on the agenda that support the main goal makes this more attainable. With just a few action items staff can anticipate leaving in a timely manner. You also have the opportunity to delve more deeply into a subject. When this happens and you choose to end the discussion the staff will look forward to the next meeting. Just like the next season of The Game of Thrones. :-) I’m always happy when a meeting I have to attend manages to end early. I know the staff likes it too.
The more the merrier
As the leader of the staff meeting it is important to set the agenda and begin the conversation. It is even more important to be a facilitator in the meeting. After you present the topic, a great idea is to sit back and let everyone else have a voice. Make sure to ask those who are sitting quietly if they’d like to contribute. Usually you have a few people who always dominate the conversation. As the principal you must make sure to guide the discussion and ask good questions. Make sure to get input from your introverts as they often have great ideas.
The emperor has no clothes!
Rarely is the truth simple and everyone’s truth is different. However, a meeting in which multiple perspectives are raised, and received knowing kind intent, is one worth having. These are the meetings we leave feeling purposeful and connected. Like a subtle spice in your favorite dish, meetings of this kind are rare. They’re often unexpected and hard to come by but these are the meetings in which the entire staff grows. I continue to work steadily to create a culture where staff meetings like this can happen.
Staff meetings are necessary and mandated by contracts. They don’t have to be boring or repetitive. They can be an opportunity to demonstrate your leadership skills. Remember to pre plan, make meetings shorter than announced, include as many as you can in the conversation, be transparent, have only two or three action steps and one goal. If you can manage to incorporate these six techniques your staff will, if not look forward to, at least come to meetings with open minds.
How do you get the most out of your staff meetings? Share the techniques that work for you in the comments section below.
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I'm a Principal and an Entrepreneur. I'm the former owner of a food venture Hustling Hoagies, the author of the children's picture books Detective Dwayne Drake and the Alphabet Thief, Detective Dwayne Drake and The Case of the Mathematical Misfit and the ebook Making it as a Male Model in Michigan. I've worked professionally as a model and commercial actor......