Each Ellevate Squad meets for 12 meetings (30 minutes each week), always on the same day and at the same time. All Squad members will connect for the meeting virtually via Zoom, a video conferencing tool. If you're placed in a Local Squad, you're welcome to hold meetings in-person, but it's not required to do so.
The Squad Curriculum is structured around four types of meetings:
- The Kick-Off Meeting
All members introduce themselves to the group, including their Top 2 goals for the program. Each Squad will also come together to select Hot Topics for the program.
Learn how to prepare for your Kickoff Meeting here.
- Hot Topics
Each Squad will select 1-2 weeks for a group discussion on shared professional interests and/or challenges. From Personal Branding 101 to Honing your Mentorship Skills, we've curated several recommendations along with Ellevate resources to drive the discussion.
Learn how to prepare for your Hot Topics here.
- Hot Seats
Each member of the Squad has at least 1 call fully dedicated to discussing her career goals. The Hot Seats are an opportunity for each member to provide advice and to share ideas for achieving career success. Learn how to prepare for your Hot Seat here.
- Retrospective Meeting
The last week of the program is an opportunity to reflect on what you have learned. Each member comes to the call outlining their next steps for working towards their goals. After the conclusion of the formal program, Squads can choose to continue to meet for catch-up chats; we encourage Squads to continue meeting either once a month or once a quarter.
Learn how to prepare for your Retrospective here.
The Mandatory Kick-Off
On this first call, you’ll get started with live introductions to everyone in your Squad. This is the time to learn more about why people joined the program, why they're part of Ellevate, and what they're most focused on in their career at the moment.
We recommend filling out your Squad Goals Worksheet before the Kickoff Meeting. Not sure which of your goals you want to focus on? You can always share what a successful experience in Ellevate Squads means to you and what you hope to get out of the program. You can download the Squad Goals Worksheet attached to this Support article.
After the first meeting, you’ll have a good sense of how many women are engaged with your Squad. The Squad Mod will then finalize your curriculum by replacing the Hot Seats of any missing members with Hot Topics.
Kick Off Meeting Agenda
Welcome from the Squad Mod
Introductions - each member should take 2-3 minutes to share:
Where are you in your career?
What does a successful Squads experience mean to you?
Highlights you’re comfortable sharing from the Goals Worksheet
Together, review the Squads Code of Conduct.
Respectful, safe, confidential space that maintains Ellevate’s Values.
All members are expected to listen and support each other
All members are expected to attend calls; you should miss no more than two meetings
What to expect next:
The Squad Mod will make final selections for Hot Topics and add them to the curriculum, in place of any Hot Seats for removed members.
Same time and place next week for the first Hot Topic
During Week 2 and then later during breaks from Hot Seats, Squads discuss common professional pain points and questions. To prepare for these discussions, Squad members listen to a mini podcast and come ready to discuss their point of view on the subject.
Hot Topic Meeting Agenda
Review the Hot Topic Resource - did everyone check it out it in advance?
Work through the Hot Topic Discussion Questions
Do you agree or disagree with the suggestions in the resource?
Has anyone in the Squad struggled with this?
Has anyone in the Squad succeeded with this?
Confirm next week’s meeting agenda - same time, same place.
Read Next: Picking Your Hot Topics (Prep Guide)
Each Squad member gets one week in the Hot Seat, where the whole call is focused on her goals and challenges. This ensures that meetings aren’t all small talk and that each member gets an opportunity for dedicated feedback. In fact, members have told us they learn more from other Hot Seats than from their own!
Remember, the goal of the Hot Seat is for each member of the Squad to get the best advice on her specific situation. Your Squad is a confidential, safe space - share openly, and respond with empathy. We’re all in this together.
Before the Call
At least one day before the call, the member in the Hot Seat should share the situations and questions from her Hot Seat Worksheet in the Group Conversation.
Hot Seat Meeting Agenda
Review what the Hot Seater shared with the group. She can read through and share a situation (or two) from her Hot Seat Prep Worksheet.
Squad members should start by asking clarifying questions:
Why are you focused on these goals and/or challenges?
What actions have you taken or considered in achieving this goal/overcoming this challenge?
Squad members can then share how they've tackled similar challenges
Note how the Hot Seater’s conditions might be different, based on her situation; other members can suggest how to replicate their experiences within the Hot Seater’s context.
Members can share external resources they’ve used - websites, books, experts, etc.
If possible, the Hot Seater could set and commit to specific, measurable steps to take in working towards specific goals
Confirm next week’s meeting agenda - same time, same place.
Read Next: Hot Seat (Prep Guide)
The Squad Retrospective
On the final call of the program, each Squad member reports back in on their progress and what’s next in their career. Together, the Squad can decide if they want to continue meeting as a support or accountability group; many Squads choose to continue meeting at the same time monthly or quarterly, and many decide just to keep in touch via Conversations.
Retrospective Meeting Agenda
Hot Seat & Goal Recap - each member should share:
What was her goal for the program?
What has happened since her Hot Seat?
What’s her plan for the coming months?
Decide on the future of the Squad - will you continue meeting, and how frequently?
Read Next: Preparing for Your Retrospective