How to Have a Great Meeting With Your Dental Team

As we enter into the holiday season and the new year, now is the time to look at our day-to-day challenges with a fresh new perspective. That’s why we’re here to give you some of our tried and true tips on How to Have Great Meeting. Using the outline and ideas detailed below, you’ll be able to maximize your meetings and actually Get. Stuff. Done. Let's do this!

Are Meetings Even Necessary?

Yes! Although technology has changed the way we work, there are still moments when discussing information via email just won’t cut it. Here are some general tips to consider before scheduling a meeting: 

  1. Determine if it’s essential. Can you first resolve issues or discuss topics through any other channels? Before calling a meeting, ask yourself if the information can be shared just as effectively in a different way (chat, email, tasks).
  2. Have an agenda. This gives you time to think about what is important to discuss, helps you stay on track, and reminds you what your meeting objective is. More on this below!
  3. Assess the invite list. Adding people to the table who don’t add value to the meeting won’t make it easier. Having too many people in a meeting can result in endless discussions, unclear direction, or too many cooks in the kitchen. Allow participants who are no longer needed to leave early.
  4. Rotate the Leader. This encourages engagement and ensures everybody is alert during meetings. 
  5. Get creative. Switch it up or introduce something different in every meeting to keep participants stimulated — Ex: Icebreakers, a change of scenery, or snacks (a Wonderist favorite!).
  6. Create action items and accountability
. An effective meeting should always have an objective. If next steps are needed, create accountability by assigning people to move action items forward.
  7. Collect feedback.
  1. Reveals whether participants were paying attention
  2. Indicates if people are interested in getting more out of meetings
  3. Helps identify how to optimize time and productivity in your next meeting

Planning for the Meeting

Okay, so the meeting is on the calendar and everyone’s invited. Now what? Here’s a checklist of notes to stick to when preparing for the meeting ahead.

Set a goal. Identify the purpose of the meeting to stay focused. 

Create a meeting agenda.

  1. Get input from team members — Ask them to suggest high-priority items along with a reason why it needs to be addressed as a team. If the leader decides not to include it, explain why.
  2. Select topics that affect the entire team — Discuss and make decisions on issues that affect the whole team and/or need the whole team to solve.
  3. List agenda topics as questions that need an answer — This better prepares the team for discussion and keeps comments on track. When the question has been answered, the discussion is complete.
  4. Note the purpose of topics — There are 3 possible purposes: share information, seek input for a decision, and make a decision.
  5. Estimate a realistic amount of time for each topic — This requires the leader to calculate how much time is needed for discussion, and lets participants adapt their comments to fit within a timeframe or suggest that more time is needed.
  6. Propose a process for addressing each agenda item — This identifies steps needed to complete the discussion or make a decision.
  7. Specify how members should prepare for the meeting — This allows team members to prepare their thoughts or read any background materials ahead of time. Meetings are more effective when attendees come up with solutions prior to meeting, instead of using meeting time to brainstorm.
  8. Identify who leads each topic — This can be someone explaining or providing context for the topic, or someone who has an organizational responsibility for this area.

End the meeting with a plus/delta — This enables you to collect feedback as discussed above!

Looking for a more visual way to prep for your meeting? Check out this sample agenda for some inspiration!

During the Meeting

You’ve reviewed the agenda and now you’re ready for your meeting! Here are some helpful hints to keep in mind once the meeting starts.

  1. Go off-topic (just a little) — Start with an icebreaker to warm up the conversation and build interaction between participants.
  2. Make sure everyone is heard. By rotating the leader or assigning each person to an agenda item, you encourage participation and give everyone a chance to be heard.
  3. Stick to the agenda and stay on track. If agenda items need to be tabled or revisited, make a note of it.

Take notes. Meeting minutes are the best way to know how you reached decisions during the meeting. Document what you talk about, who it came from, and who is assigned to next steps.

After the Meeting

The meeting is over, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to scurry back to your desk or take a bathroom break — yet!

  1. Now is the time to make decisions and create action items. Write down the decisions made and next steps required to get a collective thumbs-up from the group so there is no confusion.
  2. Then, set up your next meeting agenda. Make sure to outline this while you’re still together, when decisions and goals are fresh.
  3. Be sure to assign accountability to ensure action items are completed.

And finally, follow up on what was done. Close the loop by following up on previous action items and key decisions.

What About One-on-Ones?

We never thought you’d ask! Here’s a link for some tips on having constructive one-on-one meetings. 

We hope these tips are fun, informative, and applicable to your day-to-day life in the office! Is there a certain skill you'd like some more information on? If so, give us a shout out on social media, we'd be happy to share our tips.

About Wonderist Agency

Wonderist Agency is a full service dental marketing agency that has helped countless practices increase their new patient numbers and thrive with cohesive marketing strategies. Through dental websites, local marketing, SEO and more, Wonderist can elevate your practice and get you the results you’re looking for. Ready to get started with us? Chat with Forrest today!

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