Let’s talk about BIT meeting management.
While consulting with BITs who were struggling, a common theme emerged: When the BIT chair appropriately set the tone for each meeting and kept members on task, the BIT was more efficient and effective at supporting students. The opposite was also true, if the BIT chair waivered in his or her authority or let the team (or certain members of the team) derail the meeting, team efficiency and effectiveness at supporting students, suffered. Put simply, students benefit when BITs have in place strong meeting management skills.
A BIT may be struggling with meeting management skills if any of the following are consistently true:
- Team spends too much time on any one case,
- Team reviews pages upon pages of students’ cases,
- A team member shares too many specific case details,
- BIT leader asks for group consensus when unnecessary,
- BIT leader allows a case to stay open without resolution for too long,
- One team member’s anxiety or empathy weighs the BIT process down,
- Team members use the BIT time to process their feelings about a case,
- No clear direction about who will be following up with a student,
- Poor or inaccurate note-taking details work between meetings,
- Lack of clarity about who is truly leading the BIT meeting.
If you’re noticing your BIT fall victim to any or many of these traps on a consistent basis it may be time to hit the reset button. Trust me, your team is not alone, but everyone is likely to benefit from the BIT leader taking the reins and starting a new approach to your BIT meeting.
Here are a few suggestions to help you improve your BIT’s meeting management:
- Create a BIT mission statement and read it aloud at the start of each meeting,
- Have individual meetings with each team member to discuss their role in the group,
- Establish expected response times when reaching students (“Connect within 48 hours”),
- Establish expected team protocol if response times aren’t met (“Remind me if over 48 hours”),
- Dedicate time for team bonding outside of BIT meetings (monthly breakfast),
- Display nameplates with the member’s name and role in the meeting,
- Start each meeting with a quick success story that highlights your effective process.
Dedicating time for team dynamics and meeting management now will save plenty of time and frustration for everyone later.