Seven signs of a productive meeting.

Meetings will make or break your project. Don’t hesitate to shake up or decommission teams that aren’t working out. Here are seven ideals to shoot for.

1. The only people in the room are stakeholders and gatekeepers. They care about the outcome.

2. Everyone knows why they’re in the room. They also know what’s being decided, solved, or accomplished.

3. Preparations happen beforehand. “I don’t know — I’ll need to look it up,” should never be said in a meeting. That’s a pre-meeting commitment. If someone doesn’t prepare, it means they don’t care, which means they don’t belong in the room.

4. Establish mutual respect. Each member’s interests or expertise should be understood by the others. Politics, conflict, sensitivity, assumptions — resolve them beforehand. When four people tiptoe around a fifth, nothing gets done.

5. Focus on the customer. Begin by knowing the customer, and keep returning to the customer’s interests. Never assume customer behavior that serves the product. That’s backwards (and unlikely).

6. Squelch dieseling. Encourage participants to ask questions or make statements without extended explanations. Crisp comments yield clarity which fuels progress. Run-on remarks suffocate engagement as others grow weary of waiting.

7. Critical assessment is crucial to progress. If it didn’t work the first time, discover why not. If the solution is vague, clarify what’s fuzzy. Ask questions. Push into the uncomfortable. This may take time, but it yields spectacular fruit.

Seven Things I’ve Learned About Leading a Worship Team

(1) Joy and energy are infectious. If you have a great time, others will too.

(2) The point is effectiveness, not efficiency. Less than smooth is okay. Worship is human, not mechanical.

(3) Let people operate in their giftedness. A world-class pianist shouldn’t be put on the bass. The effect is better when the expression is strong.

(4) Stress doesn’t help. Get as ready as you can and deliver the goods. Pulling your hair out never helps.

(5) It’s okay to make a mistake if you’re trying. Don’t wing it, but don’t sweat it either. People will forgive you for making errors.

(6) Worship is about God. Don’t go for flashy or showy. Point the glory His way.

(7) Leading is following. Sometimes the best way to lead is to let others have the voice.

Posted by Contributing Editor: Anneliese Rider