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What To Cover in Your First Team Meeting Agenda

Nervous about organising your first team meeting as a manager? Worry no more.

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First meetings can always be tough.

No matter what type of meeting it is. It's much like the very first day of school, you have no idea what you’re signing up for. But unlike the quintessential first day of school, first team meetings come with a lot of weightage - you want to align everyone and build rapport. Most importantly, you want to start off on the right foot.

Yes, we get it. Setting up a first-team meeting can seem like a lot of pressure to take up on one’s shoulders, you want to make a good impression and set a positive tone while ensuring that your meeting is productive and delightful.

Virtual Meetings are an essential part of teamwork and collaboration after all, especially if you work remotely. However, not all meetings are productive or effective. Some meetings are a waste of time, and attendees leave feeling frustrated and unproductive.

As a team leader or meeting organizer, it's your responsibility to plan and execute an effective meeting agenda that achieves your meeting goals and engages your attendees.


Why an effective meeting agenda is important?

A well-planned meeting agenda can make the difference between a successful meeting and a waste of time. It's an essential tool that helps attendees stay on track, achieve the meeting objectives, and manage their time effectively. Here are some benefits of an effective meeting agenda:

Keeps the meeting on track

An effective meeting agenda outlines the discussion topics and the time allotted for each item. It helps attendees focus on the critical issues and prevent the meeting from veering off topic.

Encourages participation

When meeting participants know what to expect, they can come prepared and contribute to the discussion. An effective meeting agenda encourages participation and engagement, which leads to better decision-making and problem-solving in remote teams. 

Saves time

An effective meeting agenda helps attendees manage their time effectively by allocating a specific time frame for each item. It prevents unnecessary discussions, debates, and tangents that waste time.

Sets clear expectations

An effective meeting agenda sets clear expectations for the meeting goals, discussion items, and action items. It ensures that everyone is on the same page and understands their roles and responsibilities.

Improves accountability

An effective meeting agenda includes action items and progress reports from the previous meeting. It holds attendees accountable for their commitments and helps ensure that the team is making progress toward its goals.


Planning an initial meeting agenda

Source: Pexels

An initial meeting is the first meeting with a new team or client. It's essential to plan this meeting carefully to set the tone for future meetings. Here are some tips on how to plan an initial meeting agenda:

Define the meeting goal

Before planning the meeting agenda, define team goals. It could be to introduce the team, align expectations, or discuss the project's scope. The meeting goal will help you decide on the discussion topics and the meeting format.

Invite the entire team

The initial meeting should include the entire team, so everyone has a chance to introduce themselves and get to know each other. If the team is too large, consider breaking them into smaller groups or scheduling individual one-on-one meetings.

Use icebreaker questions

Use icebreaker questions to break the ice and help the team get to know each other. These questions should be fun, engaging, and related to the meeting goal. Clueless about what kind of icebreakers to start off with? We have a few examples to help you get started:

Personal life-related icebreakers:
  • What are your hobbies in life?
  • How do you like to begin your way?
  • What does your ideal weekend look like?
Passion-related icebreakers:
  • What is your favorite book?
  • Who is your favorite musician?
  • What album can you listen to on repeat?
Favorite things-related icebreakers:
  • What’s your guilty pleasure in life?
  • What’s your perfect comfort food?
  • Which is your favorite reality TV show?
Travel and adventure-related icebreakers:
  • When was the last time you took a vacation?
  • If money and time were not an issue, where would you like to take a month-long holiday?
  • What place are you most excited about visiting?
This-or-that-related icebreakers:
  • Mountains or beaches?
  • Burgers or pizzas?
  • Promotions or more recognition?
  • Would you rather be able to teleport or time travel?
  • Would you rather win the lottery or win a Nobel prize?
Review the agenda

Review the agenda items with the team before the meeting. It will help everyone understand what to expect, prepare for the meeting, and contribute to the discussion.

Manage communication expectations

It’s the role of the leader to set expectations and explain processes. In fact, your internal processes and frameworks can make or break the team’s success. Good leaders set lofty goals for their teams and drive them toward the fulfillment of their vision.

Great leaders include the team in the mission planning process and inspire them to collectively find the path to achieve the team's vision. Communicating your expectations is also another way to ensure that new team members know how to act.

Source: Pexels

A handy tip is to ask everyone on the team to share their best and worst work experiences. This helps the team understand good and bad dynamics and ensures that everyone’s on the same page.

Align everyone on the best way to communicate with you (and as a team). Ask them how often they would like to meet for 1-1’s (once a week or once a fortnight) and team meetings (once a week or once a fortnight). Find out how frequently you can review goals together (but make sure it’s a combined decision).

End on a positive note

End the meeting on a positive note by summarizing the key takeaways, assigning action items, and expressing gratitude for everyone's time and contributions.

Leave room for questions from the team

Effective team meetings always allow time for questions. However, this is especially crucial in the first team meeting because you are providing your team with a lot of new information while also setting the tone for future meetings.

Let’s face it, we’ve all been to meetings where we’re confused about what’s going on and asked ourselves this: ‘If I ask that out aloud, would it sound like a stupid question?’

Remember: there’s no so such thing as a stupid question (just like there’s no such thing as a wrong question). Q&A sessions make meetings collaborative and inclusive. You’re helping the team open up to new perspectives (while also aligning them with yours).

As a meeting leader, it’s vital to provide a safe, judgment-free space for questions. If you don’t want to break the flow of meetings (since you’re following the agenda to the tee), ask meeting attendees to send questions in advance. You can then come prepared for the meeting.

Ask for proactive feedback

Feedback is how we people can work better, thus, giving your team regular feedback is a very important task as a meeting leader. But very often, we get so caught up in giving feedback that we forget to ask for our own.

If you’re worried that asking for proactive feedback might dissuade your team (no one wants to bell that cat when it comes to their manager), you can ask them to do it anonymously. You are more likely to get truthful answers - no one wants to be that person who publicly critiques their superior at work. How do we do that? Hold anonymous polls after meetings where you ask your team how you can improve your team meetings.

Allocate action items and send meeting notes

End with a quick summary of the meeting (and any insights that might have come out of it) and set up action items to follow through. It’s important to include action items in your meeting agenda because it tells people what they need to do next (yes, this sounds simple but you’d be surprised how many people often get confused).

Sure, more experienced employees might read between the lines and come up with their own action items at the end of the meeting, but newer employees will never say no to some hand-holding. Providing them with as much guidance as possible is important. Plus, sometimes people might forget. By noting down the action items with the right software (like Dive), you’re making them more accountable for their tasks.

Don’t forget a meeting recap (which includes the action items) so that team members who might have missed the meeting can be informed on decisions made and action items assigned.



In conclusion, first-team meetings can be overwhelming, but with proper planning and execution, they can set the tone for future productive and engaging meetings. An effective meeting agenda is crucial as it helps keep the discussion on track, encourages participation, saves time, sets clear expectations, and improves accountability.

As a meeting leader, When planning an initial meeting, define the meeting goal, invite the entire team, use icebreaker questions, review the agenda beforehand, and manage communication expectations. As a leader, it's essential to set lofty goals, communicate expectations, and end meetings on a positive note. Remember, a well-planned meeting can make all the difference in achieving your team's goals and executing successful team meetings. 

You can also use Dive to execute productive meetings. Dive is the fastest, easiest way to prepare for, run, & get meeting insights that drive accountability and alignment. Our intelligent meeting assistant takes notes, assigns action items, and creates a meeting summary that is easily searchable and shareable with your team. This way, you never have to wonder what was discussed in a meeting again and you can be confident that everyone is on the same page.

[Download Free Chrome Extension] [Get Started with Dive]


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