How to run effective team meetings by Dan White

By Guest Contributor Dan White

Author of The Soft Skills Book, Dan White explains how to run effective team meetings.

Teams of more than ten to 20 people sometimes struggle to feel like a true, cohesive unit, especially if some members rarely work with each other. Having an all-team meeting that lasts about an hour every month or so can help create a sense of team unity.

A well-planned and efficiently run team meeting can:

  • Remind everyone to stay focused on the team’s objectives
  • Build team spirit and motivation
  • Encourage collaborative work
  • Address challenges requiring multiple perspectives


Effective team meetings typically include:



Each meeting should include a summary of the team’s progress against objectives. This reminds everyone what the objectives are and encourages the team to stay focused on them. The progress update is also an opportunity to explain any implications of over- or under-performance, and any shifts in focus required during the remainder of the year.



It’s worth setting aside ten minutes or so for an exercise unrelated to work that involves team members cooperating with one another. These short sessions can be highly entertaining and help people get to know each other. Look online for icebreakers or team building activities and choose whichever suit your organization’s style, work well in a remote meeting if necessary and will take the amount of time you want to devote to this activity.



This segment is an opportunity for everyone to talk about a topic that’s affecting, or could affect, the whole team’s performance. The topic would ideally be relevant to the whole team and benefits from that fact that everyone is present to make a contribution. To help make these sessions constructive and inspiring, they should be positioned as opportunities to generate ideas and problem-solve rather than restating known difficulties.



Team meetings are a good opportunity for the team leader to thank everyone for their efforts and congratulate the group or individuals for recent accomplishments. Some teams also encourage members to give recognition to colleagues who’ve gone above and beyond in some way. Schemes of this sort can be themed around the team’s values (if they’ve been identified), so that the organizational culture is reinforced at every meeting.

The graphic below captures a tried and trusted success formula for team meetings that you might find useful. To foster a sense of shared responsibility and collaboration, different combinations of members can be invited to run each team meeting, with introductory and closing words delivered by the team leader.




















Team meetings are key to building team spirit and a sense of collaboration, so they’re particularly important for teams working remotely that sometimes struggle in this area.


DAN WHITE is a marketing and insights innovator. His frameworks and visualizations have influenced generations of marketers via the methodologies they have informed, including the world’s leading brand measurement, media evaluation and copy-testing systems. This unique blend of expertise ensures that every piece of advice offered in The Smart Marketing Book and The Soft Skills Book is based on robust evidence and a wealth of practical experience.




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