You dread dealing with the staff. No one gets along, everyone feels overwhelmed and the negativity is so thick you could cut it with a knife. Even if you increase sales, your money leaks out in turnover and absenteeism. This is going to shock you, but you could easily solve this problem if you would learn how to facilitate an effective staff meeting.

The problem is most managers don’t know how to hold an effective meeting, much less bring up sensitive issues in a way that fosters team building and open communication.

In addition, leaders often avoid meeting with key people because they don’t have the skills, they don’t see the value, or they perceive meetings to be a waste of time or more work. This is certainly true if you don’t have the skills or resources to create an intended outcome: Higher productivity, problem solving, and increased teamwork.

One of the biggest problems of small business owners, and managers is that they don’t know how to tap into their greatest resource: their people. The solution is as simple as committing to a weekly meeting, facilitating with a story, and opening for discussion.

The Meeting
Meeting for 20 to 30 minutes once a week with a set agenda creates a framework to stay abreast of current problems, create a checklist of action items and hold each person accountable to their commitments. This is as true for a company with one employee as it is for a department within a company that has thousands of employees.
Schedule your meetings at the beginning of the workweek on Monday morning or at the end of the week on Friday afternoons.

If you want employee engagement you need to quit preaching and start facilitating. People attach to what they create and when an improvement to team building or customer service is their idea, so much the better. A great facilitation technique is to share a personal example or story then ask a question. For example, I often share a bad restaurant example to illustrate the role of the cook, the waitress and the manager to make a point that customer service is everyone’s business.

The Question
Then ask a question or several questions to facilitate discussion. If you ask employees to describe similar experiences of poor service, they become engaged. Then when you ask them how to problem-solve the situation from the manager’s point of view or from the point of view of the waitress, they become strategic thinkers.

In addition, you have listened to them so they become problem solvers.

If you are experiencing too much drama, I would bet you aren’t holding effective meetings.

Author's Bio: 

Marlene Chism is an author, speaker and founder of The Stop Drama Methodology, an 8-part empowerment process to increase clarity, productivity, and personal effectiveness. Marlene works with leaders, owners and HR directors who want to run their office with no complaints, no excuse and no regrets. To get 7 ways to stop workplace drama go to