Meetings can be intolerable. Whether you work in the corporate world, non-profit world, or church world – this sentiment seems to remain true. However, there are certain practices that can be adopted into your organization that will transform meetings from time-wasters to game-changers. One of these practices we hold to in our church staff is to end the discussion with an actionable step. And once we have an actionable step – the discussion ends. Core Principle for Ministry Teamwork is Actionable Steps End the Discussion.
1. A Plan – What is the Next Step to be Taken?
Our team is very close and very opinionated. These two attributes can lead to incredible discussions that never seem to end. We could spend hours discussing the various options and varying opinions. And though this process is essential and helpful – eventually a decision needs to be made and a path needs to be taken. We then ask the question. What is the next step to be taken? This question clarifies what has been discussed and what decision has been made. The team leader must then identify the next step and assign the responsibility to one of his team members.
2. A Person – Who is Responsible to Take the Next Step?
This is a mistake I’ve made multiple times. I’ve led the team to identify a clear next step but failed to assign the next step to a specific person. By the time the next meeting rolls around the next step has not been taken. Clear delegation is essential if the leader desires accomplishment.
For this to occur you need two main things: dependable help, and strong leadership. A strong leader is not one who can do everything but one who delegate efficiently. Give the next step to a proven team member and follow up on their progress after the next step has been taken.
3. A Promise – When will we Expect this Next Step to Happen?
Including a date of expectation is essential to the process. If we have determined the next step for the Men’s Conference is to book the speaker, and I have assigned Pastor Steve to this next step, it is best to agree upon a date of presentation. On this date Steve will inform me of the completion of the assigned task.
If the assigned task is uncompleted on the agreed upon date then an explanation is due to the team leader.
When a team finds itself in the never-ending-death-spiral of indecision it is essential that an actionable step be identified, assigned, and accomplished. Then you’ll be able to move on to the eventual next step.
(There are 10 Core Principles for ministry teamwork that our church staff has adopted. These 10 have helped our staff through our most excited days and challenging setbacks. I’ve already shared the 1st, 2nd, 3rd 4th 5th principles in previous posts. Here shared our 6th – which is Actionable Steps End the Discussion.)
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