4 Valuable Tips for Holding Successful Team Meetings

holding successful team meetings

Team meetings should be effective collaborative sessions filled with energy and enthusiasm. A team meeting room is a place where members gather around to make decisions and solve problems through creative discussion. Then again, they can be those times during the week when everyone is dying of boredom.

If your meetings are a part of this second group, that means that they are probably too long in duration and too exhaustive. This can result in a mental and an emotional exhaustion of your team, which leads to frustration. Here are some tips for holding successful team meetings.

Don’t be Afraid – You’re the Boss

Managers and team leaders are afraid of team meetings. They believe that the rest of the members hate the them or that they are getting bored. Because of that, they start looking at meetings in such a way themselves.

If you want to achieve significant results, to solve your employees problems and keep them informed, inspired and motivated, you must communicate more often and make them understand what you have to say. Do not remain in the secluded area of your office, just sending out emails. You are the one who makes sure there is effective communication in a team. Confront them with a clear purpose in all your authority.

Look Before You Leap

Although everyone knows how important it is to prepare an agenda, many team leaders hold meetings without it. But if one does not plan their agenda, you will not be focused and able to see what are the priority topics for the meeting are. The preparation may be boring or useless at times, but it is very important for everyone to be on the same page.

You can also invite team members to contribute to agenda items, just ask for their ideas via your team chat a couple of days before the actual meeting, so they could prepare without time pressure. But you should never ask your assistant or some other team member to make the agenda instead of you. You are the leader, and in order to make the meeting important for others first you have to make clear it’s important to you.

team chat

Let Everyone Play the Game

There are a lot of different activities to to choose from when it comes to freshening up your meetings. Such is the roundtable learning strategy, in which team members teach each other new something new. You can also try to change the locations of the meetings, bring an interesting board game, switch chairs – experiment with everything to break the monotony. But remember, you must get everyone involved.

The best way to gather up the whole team is certainly brainstorming. Meetings are never just about sharing information. You should always try to solve the problem by working with the group on the spot and coming to a mutual decision. Every discussion should be tied to your broader strategic goals. The best way to accomplish that is to run through all of these goals at the beginning of the meetings, otherwise people might get lost in the brainstorming process. The most common and most functional glass white boards method is a guarantee that all of your team members will always have a bigger picture in front of them.

Good Leader, Bad Leader

Although you have to be friendly and in a good mood during the meetings, you cannot let yourself go completely and be a buddy with your team members. You have to keep the standards high by not allowing off-color jokes, cynicism, sarcasm, picking on team members, other departments or management.

On the other hand, do not show your authority too much and never abuse the power you have. People are not supposed to be afraid of you, they have to love and respect you and, above all, to trust you. Think about what are the must-have skills to be good at management. It is important to build a discipline and run the meetings that people will motivate your team members and push their initiatives further.

tony solomon


Tony Solomon
is an an editor and a writer with several years of experience in creating web content. He currently writes for Media Gurus.

Chat for teams

Fleep User Story: ESTCube-2

Fleep User Stories is a series of blogposts that highlights the cool people, teams and companies that use Fleep in their daily business.

Fleep user story

ESTCube-2 is an Estonian space technology demonstration mission to test a “plasma brake” for deorbiting satellites and to test electric sail propulsion technology.

The people behind the mission are mostly students who are united by the shared passion of space exploration. And there’s many of them!

When the first Estonian satellite ESTCube-1 united more than 100 students, ESTCube-2 satellite has already brought together about 200 students from many different fields of study. And they collaborate on Fleep!

We spoke to Kadri from the ESTCube-2 team about how and why they use Fleep for their project communication. So, here’s the ESTCube-2 Fleep user story!

How did you find out about Fleep?

We were using Skype as our main communications tool prior to Fleep. As Skype lacked quite a few necessary features, we decided to move away from it and adopt something else. Specifically, Skype lacked consistent conversation history with search functionality and an Atlassian JIRA integration.

project communication

What are you using Fleep for?

We are using Fleep for teamwork. It’s a comfortable tool for quick interaction between team members who are far away from each other. It is easy to create conversations around specific topics for discussion. During the ESTCube-1 satellite project, we mainly used Skype chats for different teams. While we also considered IRC, Slack and HipChat, we eventually chose Fleep because of its live support.

How do you use Fleep?

We have a dedicated chat with links to all of our Fleep conversations. So anyone can use the conversation links posted in the chat to join the conversations relevant to them. In addition to each team having their own conversation, we have the following common chatrooms: General, IT Services, Social Events, Random. Occasionally, 1:1 conversations are created to share links, code snippets or any other personal messages.

ESTCube-2

What do you like about Fleep?

I like the fact that Fleep has mobile, web browser and desktop applications (including Windows, macOS, Linux). This means that I can be connected and receive information on the go, or even when I do not have any personal smart devices with me (using someone else’s computer, for example).

Pinned messages and file sharing are also a very convenient features. Not to mention the possibility of creating conversations around different topics to discuss specific agendas.

Fleep maintains a long-term chat history with a search function that works wonderfully. This is perfect for finding that specific link that was shared last year.

What are your Fleep tips?

We use a channel list approach, so all the different conversations our team members might be interested in are located in one specific conversation and no other messages are posted in that chat. This means that people can join and leave conversations freely, and choose which ones they wish to participate in. Having all of our team members in one conversation also means that they are easily discoverable for getting in touch and creating new conversations.

Who would you recommend Fleep to?

Fleep is extremely handy and useful for distributed teams. We work in different countries and continents, and don’t lose touch with each other while focusing on various challenges.

Yay, thanks for sharing the ESTCube-2 Fleep User Story! You can find all featured user stories under the Fleep User Stories category. Make sure you also follow Fleep on Twitter and Facebook to keep an eye on our news and updates!

Chat for teams

Fleep for Linux is here!

Fleep for Linux

We know our Linux users have been waiting for this… So, we’re thrilled to announce the public release of our Linux app! Fleep for Linux brings all the features you find in your browser right to your Linux desktop.

Download and install Fleep for Linux

At the moment, we support the Ubuntu distribution.

To install Fleep for Linux, open up a system terminal and copy and paste the following commands.

  $ curl https://fleep.io/software/linux/fleep.asc | sudo apt-key add -
  $ sudo add-apt-repository -u "deb https://builds.fleep.ee/linux/ `lsb_release -cs` fleep"
  $ sudo apt-get install fleep

To run the app, search your computer for Fleep, then double click the Fleep icon.

Anything else?

This is the first version of our Linux app, so bear with us. Some functionality was out of scope for this version. As such, Sign in with Google, Sign in with Microsoft and Multiple Accounts support are missing for now.

All feedback is welcome (really!). Report all your bugs, request all other distributions, send all the kudos to us at support@fleep.io. You can also share the love on our social media channels – we’re on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Instagram.

Fleep: Q2 review and plans for Q3 (“Summer quarter”)

Fleep

The first half of 2017 is over. (Yes, really!) That means it’s time to review what we built for you in Fleep this last quarter and reveal our plans for the next quarter.

First, a look at the second quarter of 2017:

  • Left pane improvements and All Conversations sunset – we improved the desktop conversation list in quite a few ways and migrated search in Fleep to the left pane. As a part of these changes, we also said our farewell to the All Conversations view in the web app.
  • “New messages” animation – we introduced an animation to indicate when new messages have been marked as read.
  • Linux app – yes, Fleep for Linux has been signed, sealed, delivered.
  • Tasks 2.0 – we have started behind-the-scenes enhancements to Fleep Tasks, to make the conversation Taskboards snappier. This also includes some preparation work for the long-awaited My Taskboard feature.
  • Mobile label management – labels help you organize your conversations in Fleep. Now, you can also add and remove labels in our Android and iOS apps!
  • appear.in integration 2.0 – we’ve upgraded our appear.in integration! Now, you can start a call with any specific appear.in room by using the command /call roomname.
  • Fleep for Business – we finished the main building blocks, leaving us to polish a few last things before we launch the Business subscription. Stay tuned!
  • Server infrastructure reorganization – we split our servers onto more separate VMs, to better serve increasing server load.

What’s coming up next? Here are our plans for Q3 of 2017*:

  • Tasks 2.0 – first of all, we’ll finish the behind-the-scenes improvements to Fleep Tasks. For time being, you will not notice any significant changes, besides enhanced performance.
  • My Taskboard – as soon as we’re done improving the conversation Taskboard, we’ll start working on a view where you’ll be able to see all tasks assigned to you.
  • Storage limit – we’re working to start tracking users’ uploaded storage and enforce a limit of 5GB per user.
  • Mobile push notifications 2.0 – as both Android and iOS have made significant changes to how push notifications work, we need to rewrite some of our own code. Realistically, the updates will not be released until later this year.
  • Fleep for Business – we’ll polish Fleep for Business, to make it ready for its public launch.

* We’re changing our quarterly planning tradition a little bit, and switching from calendar year quarters (often also used in economics) to seasonal quarters (Autumn, Winter, Spring & Summer quarter). So, this year’s Q3 is only 2 months long (July-August) and includes a lot of Summer vacations for our team – hence the shorter-than-usual plan for Q3 (from here on out, “Summer quarter”).

We hope you enjoyed this update – don’t hesitate to give us feedback at support@fleep.io. Let’s also stay in touch on social media! You can find us on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and Instagram.

10 Must-Have Skills to be Good at Management

Skills to be Good at Management

It’s always a great challenge to find someone who has all the skills to be good at management. Good leaders don’t just sit and wait until you hire them, but what’s crucial is that before hiring someone, you must understand the qualities – both personal and business – that you seek.

Below are 10 must-have qualities and skills that a good manager must possess by Lucy Adams, an outsourcer from IDAP Group.

#1 Passion for Work

It sounds like an unconditional truth. Everyone knows that “it is useful to exercise regularly,” but only those who exercise with a least some passion can comprehend and follow this statement.

The same applies to business. Love for work is a very important criterion. Hardly a morally oppressed employee will be able to show high results and bring something new to your business. But another question is how to measure passion?

  • First of all, ask the candidate to talk about the period when he had to work especially hard. Clarify the reasons for such devotion. Listen to how the candidate describes such an experience: whether it was an interesting, challenging period in life or a nightmare?

Good marketing directors do not work just to get paid. Instead, they direct their every effort on improving the company as a whole and each of its components. They form departments of talented people and never allow them to work without passion.

#2 The Ability to Invent the Wheel, not Reinvent It

Creativity is one of the most sought-after and at the same time elusive qualities. How can you measure creativity?

  • In my opinion, creativity includes the ability to generate ideas, think out of the box, research and give alternatives, introduce new methods of work, etc.

If you ask a good marketing director to invent a wheel, he will never answer that the wheel already exists and there’s nothing to do more in this field.

There are very few blue oceans in our world. Mostly all businesses operate in markets with strong monopolistic competition or oligopoly. A talented specialist will look at the problem or opportunity from a different angle, as no one else before did. Most likely, the candidate of your dream has a special notebook with ideas for all occasions.

#3 Loyalty

Loyalty may seem to be just another popular and obscure point in the description of vacancies. In practice, loyalty means that the promoted product become an inevitable part of the life of your team. Can you imagine Microsoft employees using Apple laptops?

#4 At Home Among Strangers, a Stranger Among his Own

Outstanding marketers like to listen and watch people and what is happening around. They like to learn about other people’s lives, tastes, and habits, as well as things they lack, like and hate. They watch TV ads, click on ad banners and save to favorites examples of the best companies and competitors.

For what? Simply to learn as much as possible about the surrounding world and understand the needs of people, which will help to these people a truly valuable product.

Skills to be Good at Management

#5 The Ability to Lead

Any manager must be able to manage people efficiently. Team building, setting tasks, ensuring effective communication in a team, motivating and developing the team spirit are a must. Without all of this, it’s almost impossible to create a single line of positioning and behavior in public.

The success of the company depends on the work of many departments, including sales, financial, logistics and development. A good manager knows how to get along with all these people and achieve a certain degree of synergy.

#6 Strategic Thinking

What does it mean to think strategically? First of all, understand the essence of the business, as well as its long-term and short-term goals, at the same time anticipating future needs.

The ability to stay true to your vision and accumulate energy for crucial things is an important quality for any manager. The best leaders first consider how their actions will affect the long-term goals and only then take the final decision.

#7 Flexibility

The world of business changes at the speed of light, and no matter how well you plan, you always have to be ready to quickly solve the problems that arise. This is especially true when managing a startup.

A good manager can turn a failure into success or restart the product or shift the emphasis to other things in a matter of days or even hours. He does not rely solely on his plans and is always ready to meet force majeure face to face, as well as switch to new technologies and products.

#8 Engaging Storytelling

People love to tell stories, but what they love even more is to listen to a skillful orator telling something new, interesting and engaging. Great managers love stories about brands and can easily fit them into the everyday life of ordinary people.

  • For example, the cigarette brand Marlboro largely owes its success to the ingenious Leo Burnett who came up with the image of “cowboy-tamer of the prairie.” The image conquered the nation, and in just a year Marlboro entered the top five of the best-selling tobacco products.

If your marketer does such things with pleasure, you’re lucky!

#9 Knowledge of the Audience

An advertising banner or video has only a few seconds to interest the person before he or she switches focus to something else.

A good manager knows everything about people to whom he sells the product and knows how to get their attention from the first second. He easily navigates in the channels of promotion and knows when to use Internet advertising or TV advertising or outdoor ads, etc.

#10 Salesmanship

A proficient manager understands thinking patterns of his employees and customers. He knows everything about the sales funnel, communication with clients and decision-making. He can sale unobtrusively, causing interest among the crowd.

I hope these 10 tips will help you in finding the right person or understand what qualities are worth educating in your young protégés. I wish you best of luck in your every entrepreneurial endeavor!

Lucy-web


Lucy Adams
is a blogger and aspiring writer who’s always ready to bring the most intriguing topics of yours to life.

Fleep is a messenger for your teams and projects.