How To Run Your First Team Meeting

A manager’s guide to successfully run first team meeting

How To Run Your First Team Meeting

Congratulations on bagging the job! Whether it is your first ever team meeting that you are leading or your first team meeting with your new team, it is always exciting.

The first team meeting is an opportunity for you and your team to level set, understand each other, and lay the foundation for a successful working relationship. Before jumping into action mode and day-to-day tasks, use this meeting to set expectations, create a great first impression, and establish trust. This means you need to prepare well in advance for an efficient team meeting.

Your first team meeting should have a detailed meeting agenda that you share with your team ahead of the meeting. Sharing agenda ahead of the meeting is a simple way to level up your meetings by giving your team enough time to go through the agenda and prepare for an engaging discussion.  Our guide on how to create an effective meeting agenda layouts five tips to help you create a great meeting agenda so that everyone walks out of the meeting feeling accomplished and productive.

Agenda for your first team meeting

The agenda for your first team meeting should contain the following:

1. An ice-breaking session

2. Setting team tenets

3. Defining meeting logistics

4. Wrapping up with next steps

Let’s dive in.

1. An ice-breaking session

Since this will be the first time your entire team is together for a meeting, open with an icebreaker to get to know each other better. This will energize the room, pump up the mood and give you an opportunity to know your team besides their professional background and responsibilities. This will also give your team a sneak peek into your life and round you up as an individual.

Once you are through the first round of introductions, below are some ways to kick off an icebreaking session:

a) Each individual shares two truths and a lie. The team needs to guess what the lie is.  

b) If you get one extra hour during the day, how would you spend that?

c) What is your alter ego? Or if you were not doing <their current profession>, what would you be doing instead?

d) What is your superpower?

2. Setting team tenets

It is important to set team expectations and define the working relationship that your team member will share with each other and with you.

First, use this time to share your what you stand for, your vision, your values and how you define team success. Per HBR article – By communicating your vision and values, you will show your team that you’re committed to a healthy degree of transparency, says Watkins, and “create positive momentum around yourself in the new role.”

Second, use this platform to establish rules of engagement within your team. With companies adopting work from home, these rules of engagement are important to keep remote teams connected.  These rules are best implemented if created by the team themselves. This reduces scope of miscommunication and minimizes the anxiety associated with having the need to be “always on” or “always available”.

Third, talk about feedback mechanisms and get your team’s perspective on how they would like to receive feedback. By doing this, you are promoting a healthy and open culture of viewing feedback process as a continuous development process and not limit it to just career discussions or year-end reviews. If your team has been in the organization for a while, ask them if they would like to do certain things differently and capture that feedback.

3. Meeting logistics

This agenda discussion point is relatively shorter and answers the following basic questions for the team members:

a)     Is this a one-time meeting or recurring?

b)    If recurring, how often?

c)     What is the expected engagement from the meeting attendees?

d)    What would be the ongoing agenda of the team meeting?

You can also use this to get real-time feedback from your team through the following questions:

a)  How useful is this meeting for the team?

b) What can you add to the agenda that will make this meeting more beneficial for the attendees?

c) What would they like to do differently in team meetings?

4. Wrapping up with next steps

What should the team expect next? As with any other meeting, end team meetings with specific next steps. This might include sending out of meeting minutes, defining action items or documenting feedback that is exchanged during these meetings. Since this the first team meeting, some proposed next steps are:

a) Setup recurring 1:1s with your team members to get to know them more personally and remain connected

b) Schedule a recurring team meeting

c) Document any feedback received during the meeting

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