As the meeting facilitator, it’s also your job to keep the momentum going after the meeting. These three pointers can help make sure the productivity doesn’t evaporate when the meeting ends.
1. Responsibility triggers action
At the end of every discussion on the agenda, steer the room towards next steps and responsibility. Always set a deadline. “By the next meeting” is the most obvious deadline but give thought to what deadline makes the most sense. Give room for your participants to negotiate realistic due dates.
Sometimes it will be obvious who the action should be assigned to. Other times you will ask the group for commitments. Giving people the opportunity to volunteer increases motivation and accountability.
2. Share the meeting minutes ASAP
Meeting minutes remind people what took place and keep them accountable for what they’ve agreed to do. This makes minutes essential, not just an added extra.
The minutes become even more important if you’ve been mindful in reducing the number of people attending your meetings. With meeting minutes, those who didn’t attend the meeting can feel included.
Meeting minutes should always be as simple and concise as possible. Most importantly, they should record actions to be taken, who is responsible and the agreed deadline. Sending them out on the same day or, even better, within an hour of the meeting keeps motivation up and keeps the contents fresh in people’s minds.
How to write effective meeting minutes
- Keep them short and concise
- Aim for one page or less
- Note the topics that were discussed
- Highlight key points
- Record actions
3. Follow-up on commitments
As the meeting organizer, it is your responsibility to check up on commitments. Sometimes people need a gentle nudge. Your meeting participants agreed to tasks with their absolute best intentions but they are also busy people.
You don’t want people to feel you are on their back or give them the impression you don’t trust them, at the same time this shouldn’t hold you back from checking in with them. It’s a natural part of leadership. Ask them, in a neutral manner, how the task is going and if they need help to be able to complete it. Participants will understand that it’s part of your role to follow-up with them, just aim to do so in a way that they will appreciate.
Smarter meetings? Yes please!
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