Proposed Team Agenda for the First Meeting: Best Practices and Tips

Whether you’re a new manager and are running your first team meeting or a seasoned veteran who’s just inherited a new team, here are 6 things to set your new team up for success.

Starting a new team or taking over an existing one can be daunting. As a leader you want to make a great first impression and set your team up for success. An effective agenda is key to having a productive first team meeting. In this article we will look at best practices for structuring your proposed team agenda for the first meeting.

Why The First Meeting Matters

The first team meeting sets the tone for how your team will work together going forward. It is important for several reasons

  • Makes first impressions. This is your chance to introduce yourself as a leader and build rapport with your new team.

  • Establishes expectations. You can communicate your management style, priorities, goals, and metrics for success.

  • Gets alignment. Discussing team values, processes, communication norms, and vision gets everyone on the same page.

  • Builds trust. Listening to team members and addressing their questions openly fosters goodwill and trust.

  • Gathers intel. Asking thoughtful questions helps you learn about team dynamics, strengths, and pain points.

In short, a thoughtful agenda ensures your first meeting is organized, interactive, and lays the groundwork for an effective team.

Key Elements of a First Meeting Agenda

The agenda sets the structure for your first meeting. Though not an exhaustive list, here are some key elements to include:

Take time to introduce yourself and let the team get to know you. Consider including an icebreaker so everyone can share something about themselves. This helps break the ice and get energy levels up.

Team Member Perspectives

Invite team members to share insights on strengths of the team, areas for improvement, and what excites them. This surfaces key information for you as a new leader.

Your Leadership Philosophy

Share what motivates you, your management style, and vision for the team. Keep it high-level but help them get to know you.

Expectations and Ground Rules

Explain how you want the team to operate – expectations for meetings, email communication, goal-tracking, etc. Seek alignment.

Q&A Period

Plan time for the team to ask questions. This allows clarification and shows your openness as a leader.

Next Steps

Close by recapping next steps and sharing plans for follow-up one-on-one meetings. This demonstrates you are organized.

Best Practices for Your First Meeting Agenda

Beyond having the right components, following best practices will ensure your agenda is as effective as possible:

  • Set expectations upfront. Give team members the agenda in advance so they can come prepared.

  • Limit to 60-90 minutes. Be mindful of people’s time and attention spans.

  • Leave room for flexibility. Your agenda provides a solid structure but leave room for organic discussion.

  • Use minutes for each section. This keeps you on track timewise.

  • Take notes. Recording key takeaways shows you are listening and helps you follow up.

  • Close with next steps. Ending with concise next steps provides clarity moving forward.

Sample Agenda for a First Team Meeting

Here is an example agenda incorporating the best practices discussed:

Proposed Team Meeting Agenda

Date: Monday, March 6, 2023
Time: 10:00am – 11:30am

Location: Main Conference Room / Zoom Meeting

Attendees: John Smith, Sarah Davis, Mark Jones, Lisa Wong, Tyler Gonzalez


Time Topic Lead Notes
10:00am Welcome and introductions John Icebreaker activity: Fun fact about yourself
10:15am Team perspectives All – Team strengths?<br>- Areas of improvement?<br>- Excited about?
10:30am Leadership philosophy John – Background<br>- Management approach<br>- Vision for team
10:45am Expectations and ground rules John – Meeting cadence<br>- Communication norms<br>- Goal tracking
11:15am Q&A All Open discussion
11:25am Next steps John – Individual 1:1 meetings<br>- Follow-up items
11:30am Adjourn Thank you!

This covers all the key elements in an organized, timed agenda. The leader can then track notes and follow up on items after the meeting.

Make Your First Meeting Count

Your first team meeting sets the tone for your tenure as a leader. An organized agenda helps make the best first impression and equip your team for success. Follow the strategies here to ensure your proposed first meeting agenda covers the essentials while allowing for organic discussion as you get to know your new team. With thoughtfulness and care, your first meeting can launch effective collaboration and trust.

proposed team agenda for the first meeting

What’s the best way for us to communicate as a team?

This can be dividing communications by tools. For example, here’s how we break up our communications on the SoapBox marketing team:

  • Slack for short on-the-fly discussions (or we talk in person).
  • Asana for all comms related to project management and task-oriented things.
  • SoapBox for all things one-on-ones and team meetings.

If you’re an engineering or product team, maybe you live in Jira as opposed to Asana. The point of this agenda item is so that everyone on the team is on the same page when it comes to where everything lives, and a big part of that is communication.

How can I best support the team as a manager?

This is such an open-ended question, and a lot of direct reports aren’t expecting it. To help get the conversation started, try providing a few examples of how you feel you can support the team. This can be as simple as, “If you’re stuck on a task and are unsure about the best way moving forward, I’m happy to talk through potential solutions.”

Try going round table with this question to give everyone an opportunity to speak up and share their thoughts.

First meeting agenda for new managers. You should know this!

How do you structure an agenda for a first team meeting?

Here are tips on how to structure an agenda for the very first team meeting: 1. Identify the purpose of the meeting As the leader, the most important thing to do before an initial meeting with your team is to identify the reason for the meeting or the meeting objective. The meeting objective is the overarching goal of the discussion.

What is an effective meeting agenda?

The effective meeting agenda is a versatile team meeting agenda template for any group seeking to align and make progress as a team. Great meetings tend to follow a clear structure. This effective meeting agenda is a proven structure for bringing a team together and pragmatically covering what is in your agenda.

How to start a first team meeting with a new team?

Starting your first team meeting with a new team can feel like a lot of pressure. You want to make a good impression and set a positive tone while ensuring that your meeting is productive and delightful. Use this first team meeting agenda template to set the tone for success and achieve the meeting you’ve been manifesting!

What is a team meeting agenda?

Team meeting agendas help you prioritize important topics and keep things running smoothly and efficiently, so your team walks away from the meeting feeling motivated and aligned. All agendas are not created equal; read our tips to learn what to include on every agenda, and how to tailor your agenda depending on the goals of your meeting.

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