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7 Effective Meetings Tips for First Time Managers

The story was originally published on Vectorly’s blog.

To become a good engineering manager or a tech lead, you should know what skills are required for this position.

You can find THE FULL LIST 8 top Engineering Management skills in 2022 in Vectorly’s article or download free skill matrix.

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Get the FULL engineering manager skill matrix for FREE on your email.

Among the most important skills of a great Engineering Manager is communication skills which include leading team and personal meetings.

In this article, you’ll find tips on how effectively run meetings with a tech team and be a great tech leader, as well as advice from experienced tech leads.

Managing & leading meetings

One of the responsibilities of a team manager is to hold regular meetings, both with the whole team and 1-on-1s.

What should an effective manager understand about holding meetings?

  • First of all, meetings are expensive, because you disrupt people from work and spend their time, which may cost a lot. So you need to realize that it should be as effective as possible, meaning resulting in decision-making, and scheduled for a fixed period of time.

  • Secondly, there should be an agenda sent to its participants ahead of the meeting, so everyone will come prepared. This will significantly increase the effectiveness of the meeting and allow participants to bring their own topics to the table. Anyway, one of the main goals of any discussion is to make people feel heard.

TIP FOR FIRST TIME MANAGERS: For super effective management of a tech team, use best tools & practices - GET them on Vectorly’s site.

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Most often, first time managers have difficulty with taking a leadership role during the meetings and feeling confident. To make it less stressful, use these simple tips.

Effective meetings tips for managers:

  1. Set an agenda with structured topics and main purpose ahead of the meeting and make sure everyone has time for preparation.
  2. Act as a leader: keep the focus on the subject, don’t cut people off before they’ve had their say, but don’t allow them to drift away.
  3. Outline the meeting rules at the beginning. These ground rules might include staying on the topic, allowing everyone to speak, criticizing the suggestion but not the messenger, and so on. It will make the meeting run more smoothly and prevent a lot of interruptions.
  4. Gather feedback from the participants after the meeting on how it went. It will take five or ten minutes and help improve the quality of the next meeting you run.
  5. Only invite those individuals who should really be there. Moreover, invite as few people as possible, in order to avoid unnecessary interruptions and don’t waste their time. Teammates are also not required to attend the entire meeting - they should only participate in those agenda topics that concern them.
  6. Make the meetings as short as possible. If the meeting requires 2+ hours, take breaks to keep everyone engaged.
  7. Prepare a follow-up action plan with specific actions for each participant. Thus, you’ll make sure that the tasks you assigned to your teammates will be completed.

Meeting templates

To conduct effective meetings and save time on preparation, use Vectorly ready-made templates.

Also read on meetings:
One-on-one Meetings in Software Development Teams: Amazing Benefits

Organizational Tips on How to Hold One-on-one Meetings [Agenda Templates]

The story was originally published on Vectorly’s blog.

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