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Submitted by williampollak on


A small team of six people, including a team leader, were recently added to my department. The team leader is my direct report. Aside from the team leader, I haven't gotten to know these people very well yet.

I held my monthly all-hands meeting today. I've made it clear to all my staff members that these meetings aren't optional and that I expect to be informed when someone has a reason not to attend. These folks have apparently not yet comprehended this message. The team leader was out on vacation and will be back next week. Of the five remaining staff members, two showed up a few minutes late for the meeting, one showed up about 20 minutes late, and the other two didn't show up at all although they were in the office. Of those who did show up, all three sat in the back of the room, and one looked at a Blackberry frequently during the meeting. None participated in any of the discussions despite my efforts to draw them in.

I was at first inclined to give immediate feedback to each of these five people, but in the end, I did nothing other than to send an email to the team leader. The email will be waiting in her inbox when she returns from vacation.

I'm not sure I did the right thing and welcome thoughts and responses from other managers.


LouFlorence's picture
Training Badge


Your first inclination was, I think, the right one.

I had a similar experience in a communications meeting with skips. The meeting invitation clearly stated that the meeting was mandatory and that it would start on time. A few people were absent or late. I gave each of them some very low-key feedback (following the model!), smiling all the time -- no more than 30 seconds each.

That was in January. No one was missing or late from that meeting until one instance a few weeks ago.


asteriskrntt1's picture

Hi Bill

Sounds like a pretty uncomfortable situation. And it also sounds like there is a culture in place that needs to be addressed. There is a great podcast on how to run a meeting.

In the cast, M&M talk about setting ground rules for the meetings and how to generate and send out an agenda, facilitate the meeting etc. I think that needs to be established. And you probably want to communicate that to your direct, help her get her head around the new meeting culture and then let her manage the feedback in her O3s.

And if she is not doing O3s and Feedback, help her get her head around those too. Good luck.


ccleveland's picture


I think that [u]direct[/u] feedback to the skips [u]and[/u] the team lead are very appropriate. Also, giving feedback as soon as possible is very important. Waiting a week for the team lead to get back would not be as effective at getting your skips to change their behavior.

Ex: "When you're late to the meeting, it disrupts the meeting and you miss out on important information and/or are unable to contribute to discussion."

Ex: "When you use your Blackberry in the meeting, it makes me think that you are not interested in being effective as a team."

Or whatever may apply...with concern for how the employee can be more effective.

For the team lead, I'm not clear on how the vacation played into this, but any feedback should be given directly, not via email.