10 Questions Leaders Ask in Team Meetings

A few weeks ago my post on Questions to Ask During a One-on-One garnered a lot of attention. Today’s post follows a similar theme and, thanks to a tip from Shannon at Soapbox, provides 10 questions to consider asking during team meetings (with a few of my own ideas thrown in).

  1. When is the best time to give work-related feedback?
  2. What information do you need in order to perform better? How would this help you/us?
  3. What is our team’s biggest challenge?
  4. What blocks our success?
  5. What do we need to start doing? Why?
  6. What do we need to stop doing? Why?
  7. What have we forgot to do that worked in the past?
  8. What was a win we/you had last week?
  9. What is an example of how we successfully demonstrated one of our core values (with our team or with our customers)?
  10. What is an example of how we failed to demonstrate one of our core values? How can we avoid doing this again?

There are a lot of great questions and this list simply provides a few fresh ideas. What would you like to this list?


Head ShotDr. Jeff Suderman is a futurist, consultant, and professor who works in the field of organizational development. He partners with clients to improve culture, leadership, teamwork, organizational alignment, strategy and organizational future-readiness. He resides in Palm Desert, California. Email: jeff@jeffsuderman.com

Questions to ask during one-on-one’s

Clients sometimes ask for input on how to conduct great one-on-one meetings with their team members. One suggestion is to ask good questions. A recent blog post at Soapbox provided 9 helpful questions to consider.

  1. What are your biggest time wasters?
  2. What does our organization/department need to start doing?
  3. Would you like less or more direction from me about your work? In which area(s)?
  4. Are you getting enough feedback about your work? Where are the gaps?
  5. What could I do to make your job easier?
  6. Is there an aspect of your job that you need more help or coaching with?
  7. How could we improve the way our team works together?
  8. On a scale of 1-10, how challenged are you at work?
  9. What organizational strategy or goal are you least clear about

What do you think? Which questions are missing? Are there any you don’t like? I’d love to hear your experiences!

Thanks to Brennan at Soapbox for the great content!


Head ShotDr. Jeff Suderman is a futurist, consultant, and professor who works in the field of organizational development. He partners with clients to improve culture, leadership, teamwork, organizational alignment, strategy and organizational future-readiness. He resides in Palm Desert, California. Email: jeff@jeffsuderman.com

Making Meetings Matter

“Meetings are usually toxic because they often convey an abysmally small amount of information per minute”.[1]

Have you ever felt this way? Having sat through many frustrating meetings, I resonate with this statement. Often meetings are ineffective because participants are unclear about its purpose and outcomes. When people enter a meeting with unclear expectations they experience frustration which is a catalyst for conflict. A simple way to minimize this is to establish clear guidelines about the meeting purpose.

Generally, there are five reasons for holding a meeting:

1Information Sharing: The purpose of this meeting is to convey information which helps people do their job more effectively. A common example of an information sharing meeting is a conference or a sales presentation. Increasingly, ‘information’ agenda items are sent via a short email instead of at group meetings

2. Problem Solving/Innovation: Attendees focus on specific problems or ideas which need to be debated and discussed by the group. For example, a department sensed a market niche for a new product. However, the exact product specifications were unknown so a problem solving meeting was used to debate ideas and design a product that would best meet customer needs.Meetings

3. Decision Making: Some meetings are for the sole purpose of making a decision. Often these decisions are a result of a problem solving meeting or are done at problem solving meetings. For example, a geographically dispersed sales team had developed individual draft schedules of their annual sales travel. They called a decision making meeting to synthesize plans, solve scheduling conflicts and finalize decisions as a group.

4. Planning: Organizations build short and long-term plans to establish goals, strategies and tactics. Often called strategic planning, the goal of these meetings is to establish corporate, divisional or individual direction and priorities.

5. Commitment Building: When you need to ‘get everyone on the same page’ a commitment building meeting is effective. These often occur when a new product is launched, when the company hires a new CEO or when an organization embarks on a new venture.

Sometimes meetings will combine more than one of these purposes. If this is the case, you can use agenda headers to outline what participants should expect. Meetings can be effective but it doesn’t happen by accident. They require pre-planning and a clear answer to the question on the mind of every participant – “why are we at this meeting?”

And a box of donuts doesn’t hurt either!


[1] Fried, Jason & Hansson, David (2010). Rework. New York: Crown Publishing. P. 108.

Photo credits:

www.flickr.com/photos/poolie/2250698836

www.flickr.com/photos/mnadi/32325828

Licensed by CreativeCommons.org