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Email: steve@achievementprocess.co.za
Powerful Team Development Programme in Africa

Team meetings – a serious waste of time!

Well, how was your last meeting? Was it the usual waste of time and effort? If so you can join the club. In our experience the vast majority of managers feel that most of the time their so-called ‘team’ meetings achieve very little. They regard such meetings as a necessary evil in the communication roundabout; an evil that can cause more problems than it resolves.

Why is that? The best answer lies most of the time under the general heading of Human Nature. People in working groups show a depressing tendency to revert to instinctive and gut-feel behaviours as they battle for ascendancy in the ‘corporate jungle’. While this is natural and therefore often quite understandable, it does little to enhance team effectiveness and performance. But it would do a great deal to gladden the hearts of your competitors if they suspected just how frequently your team indulged itself in this pointless and self-destructive way.

Here are some of the most common and frequently observed ‘team’ meeting behaviours:

> Team members take opinionated & subjective positions, turning away from objective assessment.
> Problems are massaged a little then brushed over, so real causes are rarely identified.
> Finger pointing, blame and recrimination get in the way of a proper analysis of facts.
> Personal and positional power plays dominate at the expense of balance and behaviour moderation.
> Emotions rule and reactions are knee-jerked, with little thoughtful discussion & considered responses.
> Team members try ever harder to improve performance but only increase frustration.

In other words we seem to be historically incapable of putting objectivity before subjectivity; causes before symptoms; facts before blame; behaviour before politics; response before reaction; and a structured process before simply trying harder.

Part of the solution may be found in drawing up warm sounding team agreements that value certain commendable behaviours while seeking to avoid less attractive ones. But even with tough and regular auditing of such agreements, something more focussed and robust is required.

The Team Achievement Process will provide your team with the structure and discipline required to spend more time in the blue than in the red areas outlined above. The structure comes in the form of a 5 Stage & 15 Step logical and easy to apply process, while the discipline comes from the teams’ mutual commitment and desire to apply it.

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