It seems like a simple concept, if you’re on a team you should probably meet with the team to discuss team business, but until last year I had never really had a formal team meeting. I always saw them as something that a big team would do and I had never been on a team with more than three people. I figured that we could all keep in touch individually and through the occasional team e-mail and that would be fine. We did OK like that, but a lot of stuff came to light when we all talked with each other and were able to heard and respond to concerns, questions and ideas.
Team meetings don’t have to be an in-person affair. I realize that people are busy and a lot of times teams are spread across the country, so sometimes a phone call is as good as you can get. But if you can get all of your team on a conference call, it’s way better than having no team meeting at all. So here are some great reasons that your team should really be meeting at least once every other month, if not once a month.
Probably the biggest reason out there is accountability. This goes for training and fund raising. I don’t want to let my team down, so if I am having a call where everyone is telling about their plans for what they are going to do for fund raising or a training walk that they just got back from I know that I need to get on the ball and catch up with everyone. It’s not that it’s a competition, but seeing how your teammates are doing in these two critical areas will help you gauge how far along you should be by this point. If you have only raised $100 and the other four people on your team are already halfway to their goal, either you’re not putting enough effort into fund raising or you should start adapting some of the techniques that your team is using to help you catch up.
If you have a team that is planning on doing team fund raisers, a team meeting is a great place to hash out details of how it is going to go down. I realize that a lot of this can be done through e-mail, but I will admit that sometimes I get lost in the sea of e-mail if everyone in the team just keeps replying back and forth. Being able to have a conversation about getting your fund raiser together will make it easier for everyone to follow and make their voice heard about what needs to be done.
If you have some first time walkers with veteran teammates, this allows them a chance to ask those questions about the walk that everyone has. Stuff like, “How much should I be walking?”, “What do you do at camp?”, “What should I pack?” and much more. If your team is comprised of first time walkers only, this might be a good time to get to know some of the walkers on the share list and see if there is a veteran walker in your area that might be able to come to your team meeting for a little bit to field questions and help you build the comfort level.
Meet the Team!
Chances are that unless all of your team is from one specific pool of people that you know (like family or work) then not everyone on the team will know each other. Use a section of your team meeting to have time to get to know everyone. The last team meeting that I went to, we had a question of, “what was the most embarrassing wardrobe malfunction you have had?” It seems like a simple enough question, but it got people to talk about something that was a little embarrassing and I think it helped everyone to know each other a little better. When everyone knows everyone better it makes it easier when the time comes to select your tent mate. It’s possible that there are people in the team that don’t know a lot of their team members and don’t already have a designated tent mate. Having a little get to know you time will allow them to know first of who doesn’t have a tent mate and second of if they can get along (though let’s face it, it’s the 3-Day, most people get along).
To the Event!
The last thing I will talk about for having a team meeting for is to actually do planning for the event. If you are walking in an out of town event, this could mean planning the travel arrangements and hotels for before and after the walk. If you are walking in the town that you live in, it could mean arranging for transportation from someone’s house to the event. At the last Texans for Tah-Tah’s meeting, we even talked about what shirts we would wear on what days so that we would be all co-ordinated and easier to pick out in a crowd.
The team meeting is a great thing to do with every team. If it’s just two people on your team, it may not be necessary to have the meetings frequently, but you should still plan on having a meeting or two just to hash out some stuff and keep each other motivated. As the team gets larger, I think the need for meetings gets more and more.