Team Meetings Agenda Minutes Facilitator

July 30, 2020

Efficient, productive team meetings include setting an agenda, generating minutes, and having a facilitator.

Meeting Coordinators

To assist in the consistency and direction of the team gatherings, especially team meetings including everyone working in the veterinary hospital, identify a:

  • Facilitator – generates the agenda and moderates the meeting
  • Timekeeper – start and stop on time, manage the blocks of time during the meeting
  • Scribe  – takes the minutes, captures important details

PRO TIP: Rotate these responsibilities, monthly or quarterly. Builds empathy!

The Facilitator works with the manager or owner to create and post the agenda and keep the meeting going, defer off-topic conversations to the next meeting, or in smaller department meetings. The Timekeeper does just that, helps the facilitator stay on time. Each topic is given an allotted time and you stick to it.  The Scribe takes notes, makes comments on important information, documents who volunteered for what project, and posts minutes within two days of the meeting or at a time the team feels is relevant.

Agendas – a Great Tool

Your team will appreciate an agenda to include the timeframe because they know what to expect. In this way, they can prepare for the conversations. Plus, they know the facilitator will keep the dialog flowing and the time-keeper keeps tabs on the time. It creates a sense of control for the attendee.

The agenda can be presented in a similar format each meeting:

  1. Old business -what is still in the works, what projects were completed.
  2. New business -what is a problem, who will work on it and report at next meeting.
  3. Clinic updates -recap an interesting case, sympathy cards signed, etc.
  4. Training -varied to the seasons and industry representatives.
  5. Identify the next quarter’s facilitator, timekeeper and scribe

Sticking to the time is crucial. Always start on time! Regardless of who is or isn’t there. We know within veterinary medicine stuff hits the fan, but the facilitator starts and ends on time. This may be hard at first yet make it a habit. The team will realize, “If I am to be heard and participate, I need to show up!”

Timeframes for topics may include:

  • 5-minute slots for quick responses and input
  • 10-minute slots for projects and hot topics
  • 15-minute slots for informative and continuing education type pieces
  • 45 minutes for an industry partner presentation

Provide everyone with a formal agenda so your team can see what is going to be discussed.  I also recommend keeping the agendas and minutes in a notebook in the lounge, available to everyone. Yes, that may seem a bit old school, yet it’s a symbol of organization, continuity and tangible. Yes, electronic copies can be kept on computer files. Reviewing the minutes from the previous meeting will help in formulating your new agenda.

Minutes-What we Committed to

Taking notes, the minutes, act as a “keeper of the dialogue”  will help in efficiency and focus.

A good article on the why and how of keeping minutes:

It is handy to refer to minutes to understand the ebb and flow of topics. Some topics will need to be revisited in an effort to either readdress recurring situations, or because you have had staff turnover.

Additionally, the minutes allow you to review:

  • Who offered to volunteer for a task? Did it get done?
  • Use a SMART Goal to track projects
  • How many times has one particular issue been “kicked around”?
  • Who engages, well?
  • Who needs more encouragement to participate?
  • General attitude and productivity of the team.
  • When was the last OSHA training and what topic was discussed?

Your team will also benefit from using a SMART Goal! I know, I KNOW! I am told a large percentage of people understand how SMART Goals work, but have not conquered the power and intent within the structure. Take the FREE SMART Goal course to learn the HOW!

If you have never held team meetings, consider creating “Rules of Engagement” and understand the first few meetings may be gripe sessions, but with the intent of morphing into productive, efficient, “Get Shit Done” gatherings.

Download Infographics to get conversations started.

Yours in Team Meetings,

Rebecca Rose, CVT & Jamie Davis, CVPM

Join us for the Open Forum on Effective Team Meetings on August 6th, 2020 at 11:30 Mtn Time. Register for FREE Open Forum. 

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