Why Your Staff Hates Meetings (video)

Chad OstrowskiBlog, Video

Why Your Teachers Hate Meetings (video)

Why Your Staff Hates Meetings

Don’t invite people to meetings that they don’t need to be at, or won't get value from. Click To Tweet

Full transcript below video.

Video Transcript

Hey guys! Today I’m going to talk about something that we all think about, and that is why you or your staff might hate staff meetings. I’m going to give you four reasons that you can think about, make adjustments for, hopefully make your next staff meeting a little bit more worthwhile, and a little bit more productive.

The first reason why your staff might hate your staff meetings is that they are too long. That actually happens in business as well all the time and that is meetings will drown on and on and on because you’re taking input or feedback from multiple people, or letting one topic just get away from you.

Make sure you have a set agenda, make sure you have a set amount of time for every piece of your meeting so that it’s structured, it’s focused, and it’s quick and efficient. It’s also okay to let your staff leave the meeting early. I’ve talked to multiple administrators and I’ve experienced this myself as a teacher, where they say the meeting is going to be from 3:00 to 3:30, so they literally plan and fill up 3:00 to 3:30 instead of thinking about what needs done and how they can get it done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Also, if you focus on the tasks that need completed or what you want to get done before the meeting is over, you’re going to make your staff work a lot harder during the meeting and they’re going to be much more on task. If they know they’re going to have to be there until 3:30 no matter what, their productivity doesn’t matter in that equation. So this is a way to hold them accountable and allow them to get what needs done, done.

The second thing that you can do to make your meetings more productive is make sure they apply to the people that are there. More importantly, don’t invite people to things that they don’t need to be at. I’ve been at countless meetings where things are being talked about that have nothing to do with my class, my subject, my department, or anything nearly related. So I immediately will check out, and this happens to a lot of teachers.

So if you only need to talk to five staff members, or just your department heads or your special ed department, or just your ELA teachers, only invite them to the meeting. This is going to make the meeting more productive, more efficient, and more importantly it’s going to be more beneficial for everyone involved. This is also going to show that you respect your staff’s time, and then they can then be productive on what they need to be if they’re not at the meeting.

So the next thing I want to talk about is making your staff feel valued. Staff may hate meetings because they don’t feel like they’re valued, or that their opinions are valued when they happen. When you have a staff meeting, do not make the primary purpose to disseminate information. If the only reason you’re having a meeting is to tell your staff something you should send an email, you shouldn’t have a meeting, because an email can do it in 1/10th of the time, and it’s much easier to convey the information because it’s in a written form.

Meetings should be productive, they should be collaborative, they should be the reason you need to bring people together, whether that’s they need to complete a task, they need to give input, or they need to provide feedback on something going on in your school, class, team, grade level. By doing this you can increase the value it has for the staff, because they’re going to feel heard. So make sure when you have meetings, the only purpose is not to disseminate information, if that is the case, you should just send an email. You shouldn’t even have a meeting.

The last reason, I think staff meetings get a bad rep, and your staff might hate them, is in some cases maybe they’re not very productive, and what I mean by this is you’ll start the meeting, you’ll have a set agenda, and you’ll have things that you want to accomplish. On the second task that you want to get done, someone starts talking about or complaining or getting into another topic and all of the sudden you don’t get anything done during the staff meeting. Try to keep your staff meetings as focused as humanly possible. Have one or two things that you want to get done by the end of that time and focus only on those things.

Creating things like parking lots or note sections for the meeting for further discussion is a really good way to avoid some of these pitfalls, but make sure that something’s either getting done, getting discussed, or getting decided at the meeting because that’s the only reason that they should exist. You want to make sure that your meetings are quick, efficient, purposeful, and everyone that’s there needs to be there and feels valued. Otherwise you’re going to waste a lot of your time, you’re going to waste a lot of your staff’s time, and they’re just not going to like meetings in general.

So, make sure that your meetings are short and efficient, make sure that everyone there is focused and needed for the topic of the meeting, make sure your team feels valued by asking for their input and asking for their collaboration, and make sure your meetings are productive. These are four ways that you can make your meetings more effective, and hopefully avoid your staff not liking them. Thanks for taking the time to listen. Stay awesome.