There are some key points for team leaders to consider if he or she wants to encourage team participation.
Managers should try to keep meetings brief, such as 10-20 minutes, and only cover one topic or subject at a time. (Gerst. 2004) The style of the meeting should not be lecture format but should allow time for staff members to ask questions or make comments related to the meeting's topic. (Gerst, 2004) (Thompson, 2004) The "KISS," or Keep It Short and Simple," would be the most effective format when planning a meeting. (Gerst, 2004) As the team manager asks pertinent questions, each team member must be directly addressed and "demanded" to take part in the discussion. This approach can help team members to feel as though they are contributors rather than observers and produce a less awkward meeting. (Thompson, 2004)
Lack of interest among team members can definitely cause a meeting to fall flat. What good is it to the team members if the meetings are too long, the topic discussed is not related to their productivity or perhaps it is the consensus of opinion that they feel their comments do not matter With smaller companies, these issues may not be as prevalent. However larger companies which have growing demands on their team leaders to increase and maintain quality production, often observe disinterest among their co-workers. (Gerst, 2004) (Johnson, 1996, p, 18)
It takes careful thought and planning to make team meetings more interesting. Team managers should consider exactly what it is they want to cover in the meeting and start and begin each meeting on a positive note. (Gerst, 2004) Meetings should not just be about management telling employees what to do but should "also be about hearing the employees' concerns." (Gerst, 2004) Another way to encourage interest among co-workers would try to have an occasional informal get-to-know-each-other type of meeting where some positive "bonding" might take place. It breaks up the monotony of routine and leads the team members to wonder, "What's he got up his sleeve this time" (Thompson, 2004)
A poor attitude from any member of the team can seriously hamper the effectiveness of any team meeting. No one wants to hear comments such as "He's covering that topic AGAIN" or "You said we should do this, but instead we ended up doing that." (Baum, 2003) Any negative feedback or comments either from meeting facilitator or participants should not be practiced unless it is presented in such as way as to be considered constructive. (Baum, 2003)