Message From MD August – 2021
04 August 2021
‘Karkidakam’ is the beginning and the end, a glance at the past while savouring the thought of the future. It is the last month of the Malayalam calendar, which falls during July and August. The rains are slowly declining, and this is the time considered to be the most ideal for Ayurvedic body rejuvenation therapies.
Karkidakam marks the beginning of the second part of the traditional year, Dakshinayana, during which the sun rays move in the southern direction. It impacts the health of the mind and body, and its soft rays affect immunity and digestive powers. A combination of worship, fasting, rejuvenation, and rituals helps overcome diseases and achieve tranquillity of the mind and body. The Ramayana is read with enthusiasm, and Ayurveda is holistically practised. Thus, we can welcome the new year with a sound body and mind and hope for the best in life and career.
I want to talk about team meetings and inter-department meetings this month, essential for any growing organisation. At its core, a team meeting aims to share information efficiently and provide scope for discussion around what is being shared. In addition, a good meeting helps attendees align on the discussion topics, air any concerns or obstacles, and have clarity on future actions.
The big question. The team meeting. A necessary evil, an exercise in wasting time, or our organisation’s secret weapon?
At its best, a team meeting is a way to ensure different team members, departments, and management are aligned, that no obstacles stand in the way of the organisation’s progress, and create an open forum for dialogue and discussion. At their worst, team meetings can frustrate and cause more problems than they solve. Can we afford to have such bad meetings that could lose clients or cause friction between different internal stakeholders?
As organisation develop more dynamic ways to communicate, the tried and tested team meeting also need an upgrade. No wonder we have to reorganise and change plans for more effective meetings that will engage and enliven our team members.
The attendees must understand that it is a recognition to a privileged few to attend a meeting with senior-level members. It can be a meeting to update the status, decide, share any information, solve a problem, innovate, or build a team. Participants must have clarity on the type of meeting they are attending. The key to a successful team meeting is always to have a clear purpose. Define why people are gathered for – their time is as precious as anyone’s, and if they think it’s time wasted, it will work against and certainly won’t energise the organisation.
Team meetings are places to build bridges, whether between gaps in knowledge or between team members. We have to help to build those bridges by putting the right people in the room together. We have to select who needs to attend carefully, and otherwise, many attendees will have no reason to be in or have nothing to learn or add. Participants must have a clear understanding of the management’s expectations. They need to prepare material to present and be clear about what they need to prepare and precisely what management wants.
Opening the floor to participants and allowing everyone to feedback on the contents of the meeting or to raise other concerns is an essential element of all meetings. We should create space to listen to all and encourage open honest discussion. Future action is another critical area where we wrap up the outcomes of the meeting and agree on actions to be taken as a result of what has been discussed. These might include follow-ups with a particular member, new tasks, or items to be actioned ahead of the next meeting. Just as we set clear expectations of what we wanted from participants before the meeting, this is a place to set the expectations following the meeting.
It is essential to run a team meeting; taking the time to plan, collaborate, and consider making the session more engaging is an integral part of managing and leading a team. It is also important for team members to keep secrecy outside the forum and transparency inside the forum to have better results. Managing a meeting with fancy ideas are also not to be encouraged. Participants need to spread positive vibes to non-participants and work towards the joint decision taken in the meeting. Outsiders may have different views and opinions which can’t be heard or listened to further as they were not part of the decision-making forum. Spreading negative feedback outside the forum to make people panic is even worse as it makes the participant himself not eligible to be included in further discussions. It’s unethical and unprofessional.
Friends, to conclude, Team meetings are great places to resolve issues and confusion with honest and open discussion. Items that might take dozens of back and forth emails to clarify can be talked through in a safe public forum, and you can save time as a result. Team meetings are the right time to get the right minds all together in a room for a single purpose in our organisation. The collaborative atmosphere is great for developing ideas, problem-solving and fast iteration. Bouncing thoughts off one another in a meeting environment can be highly effective and lead to unexpected outcomes. After every meeting, everyone should be on the same page, the same route with the same destination in mind.
Sunil Kumar V
Founder & Managing Director