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Establishing meeting norms is a good strategy to keep your team in line while still encouraging their participation. Determine the order of the meeting and set time limits for everybody to state their position, as well as time limits for discussion on each item. This lets everybody know what to expect. Consistency makes team members more comfortable.

Dr. Jamie Morley


You are correct, William! Encouragement is essential. Too often, team leaders do not have the authority to give awards, bonuses, or monetary incentives, so praise is a great way to keep your team motivated. Many team members also appreciate being given additional assignments or responsibility. This doesn’t motivate everybody, so the leader should know their team before determining if a stretch assignment is a motivator.

Dr. Jamie Morley

I would conduct a short meeting to determine exactly where our problem areas are. Then as a team come up with solutions for improving these areas. I would then write up a document summarizing our findings and distribute it to the team members.


You have incorporated a couple of good ideas in your post. First, you mentioned soliciting opinions from all the team members. This is very important. Brainstorming allows everybody to feel invested in the decision. You also touched upon the importance of codifying the results of the discussion. The importance of taking minutes is often overlooked. However, writing and distributing minutes makes sure that everybody is on the same page and enables members that missed the meeting to stay in touch.

Another strategy to consider is to create monthly task lists and include those in the minutes so that all team members see the progress.

Dr. Jamie Morley

Hello Donald,
I am in complete agreement with what you stated. However, the leader or facilitator needs to be in control of the discussion at all times. The next step of the leader is to get the team to focus on the fact that some type of action is needed. Now the leader can direct the group to offer solutions because the team has moved passed the obstacles and egos. The team may or may not even realize they are bonding as a group to be reckoned with, which was the goal of the leader from the start. Better solutions or even more defined opportunities may come to light that will improve the effectiveness of the group's plan of action. The next question that comes to mind is whether or not the right person was chosen or has the skills needed to properly manage the team. I look forward to your comments.


Thanks for responding to Donald. You make excellent points! I would also add that using a democratic process makes everybody feel like their opinion matters. However, sometimes as a manager, taking the decision of the group is not practical. Therefore, it is important that the team understands that you are open to suggestions, but that not all suggestions can be approved by management as is. This will keep the expectations of the group in check.

Dr. Jamie Morley

It starts by having clearly stated objectives and expectations as well as a process for evaluation and review from the very beginning. With these steps in place, team members should be able to assess early on where they are having difficulty with performance and/or productivity.

Some corrective measures may include 1)rematching individuals with tasks that are better suiting for their talents and abilities, 2) offer additional training if time and resources permit, 3)solicit constructive dialogue from team, and 4) remind the team of the negative consequences of poor performance while offering direction and coaching for improvement.

For a serious matter, I would hold a separate meeting that focuses on the issue and purposely addressing areas of improvement and keying in on problem solving. For a minor matter, I would weave the topic into regular meeting, but focus on resolution with feedback from all members of the team. Either way, it's important to follow up with a written action item. Praise good ideas and reward great results.


You are also spot on when you talk about the importance of recognition. Especially in today’s climate, praising one’s own accomplishments is often frowned upon. Many successful companies however, realize that enabling employees to express their accomplishments is good for them, the supervisor, and the company. For example, Intel requires employees to create a monthly “brag sheet” outlining their contributions to the team’s goals. This gives the employee an incentive to complete their tasks on time and helps the supervisor remember the team member’s contributions when it comes to evaluation time.

Dr. Jamie Morley

In a recent faculty meeting I noticed that a couple members were having difficulty processing an agenda item related to NCLEX preparation of students. Part of the reason for this was because they had not been in the prior faculty meeting so were not up to speed re the identified problem.

Even though I had sent out a preparatory notice advising members of the agenda item, I later realized that it would have been better to send out more materials prior to the meeting. From reviewing the content of this course I can see that I could improve the participation in the meeting by sending out information ahead of time.

One way to communicate this to team members would be to identify that I realize they have not always had all the information needed to discuss an agenda item and that in the future I will send out information prior to the meeting.


Great insights! I am glad the course helped you identify an area that you can improve. You can never over communicate. Knowing your audience is another clue to how and how much communication is necessary. If your case, I am assuming that your audience was made up of nursing educators. Nurse educators are thorough and meticulous. I agree that giving them advanced copies of the material will yield better results at your meeting. Also, be sure to give them an opportunity to add to the agenda so that they feel invested in the meeting.

Dr. Jamie Morley

At this time I have a great team. How we deal with issues with our team is communication. We have team meetings and if a change needs to be made with the curriculum someone takes the lead and then has everyone on the team review and then if in agreement we implement. I also communicate with my team and show that I appreciate them and if we do have any issues we discuss and work them out.


I am glad that your team is successful! You are right that communication is an important key to that. Taking the opportunity to make the most of informal meetings and interactions is so important. Having an open door policy may sound cliché, but it is a sign of a transparent culture, which employees need to feel comfortable.

Dr. Jamie Morley

I would focus my attention on creating a positive atmosphere. Improving the atmosphere would increase and improve the morale of the team. As the leader, I set the example and tone for my team. I lead not by what I say and do but also by what I allow. It is up to me to make it clear to all team members that everyone needs to be treated with dignity and respect with no exceptions. One way of communicating this is through praise and positive feedback.

Angel Cole


You are exactly correct! One of a manager’s primary responsibilities is to bring out the best in their team members by encouraging open dialog and respecting diversity. As you mentioned, praise and acknowledgement is a great way to encourage a positive atmosphere. Another practical solution is establishing meeting norms so that everybody knows what to expect and understands that they will have the opportunity to have their opinions heard. Consistency makes team members more comfortable.

Dr. Jamie Morley

As a team leader I would improve team performance by establishing rules. Having meetings that would be mandatory so that each member would be held accountable for participation, keep an open floor discussion for each member which is important for team members to express there concerns, and most of all communication is very important.


Establishing meeting norms is a good strategy to keep your team in line while still encouraging their participation. If the protocol states that everybody can write or voice one challenge/opportunity and one success, then it is hard for naysayers to monopolize the situation. Determine the order of the meetings and set time limits for everybody to state their position, as well as time limits for discussion on each item. This lets everybody know what to expect. Consistency makes team members more comfortable.

Dr. Jamie Morley

I find that approaching my team with a positive outlook and a well organized game plan helps to get everyone on board for the task that needs to be completed. By ensuring that all team members received a meeting agenda prior to the meeting also helps with everyone bringing valuable insite to the situation.


That is a good strategy. Another idea is to have a set agenda that includes a roundtable section. During that period, everybody is required to make a comment, suggestion or ask a question. By doing that you are assured that every person gets some “floor” time. This also encourages listening and pre-meeting preparation, which are good skills for managers to develop in their staff.

Dr. Jamie Morley

Hi Greg,

We have 8 departments with 8 teams, the teams with the strongest leaders have the strongest departments. You state "Many leaders avoid or push off conflict and problems" and I couldn't agree with you more.

Team members have to have a strong team leader. If the team leader looses the respect of the team members there is no team.


Good insights, gentlemen! Conflict is very difficult for some people to deal with and there are cultural differences in the way that conflict is perceived. As a manager, it takes lots of time and one-on-one coaching to be able to detect how your team will respond. Better to take the time, then to risk losing the respect of the team!

Dr. Jamie Morley

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