Even though I have published a manifesto to help business owners and managers plan Staff Meetings Everyone Wants to Attend (free download), I still hear about two common mistakes being made all the time that make staff meetings ineffective at best, and sometimes downright dangerous for your business.
Here are two rules you have to follow even if you do not use the method I prescribe.
Rule #1 Do Not Hold a Bitch Session
It does not matter what might be going on or who is to blame. Bitch sessions only accomplish two things:
- Brings down the morale of the staff
- Fractures the team
Bitch sessions never solve the problem, never “clear the air”, never get to the heart of the matter. Do not buy into those excuses for allowing griping and blaming. Bitch sessions only serve to bring up more negativity and destroy any team unity you might have built.
Instead, if there are issues to resolve, resolve them in private with the involved parties directly, or simply bypass them by stating that no matter how things were handled before, this is how they need to be handled moving forward.
Rule #2 Focus on the Positive
Sure, negative issues need to be addressed. But instead of allowing them to turn into impromptu bitch sessions (see Rule #1), you need to approach them from a positive point of view.
Here is what we did.
Here is how we are going to handle it.
Here is how we will avoid this mistake in the future.
Notice how this approach holds everyone including you to blame without singling out that one person? The staff usually knows who that one person is to blame, but you take the focus off that person by making everyone including yourself the culprit. And you take the focus off the negativity by showing how to solve the problem and avoid the problem in the future.
When all is said and done, it really does not matter who made the mistake or who is to blame. All that really matters is that the staff has a positive, we’re-all-in-this-together, outlook and a blueprint for avoiding those problems in the future.
PS Have a tough topic you need to cover for a staff meeting? Send me an email and we can brainstorm some ways to cover it.