How to Run More Effective Meetings, Part 4

This is the fourth and last blog entry I will publish this month on how to run more effective meetings. These entries are based on the lessons I have learned from the more than 30,000 hours I have spent participating in or facilitating meetings.\r\n\r\nToday, I want to cover what steps to take after the meeting is concluded.\r\n\r\n• Distribute the meeting notes within 24 hours. What’s the magic behind 24 hours? It communicates a sense of urgency behind the agreements reached. Think about it: How do you react when you receive the notes several days after the meeting instead? By that time, you may be focused on something else, the meeting may feel like it happened a long time ago, and the agreements may already sound foreign to you. In fact, at that point, most people may be waiting for somebody to check what their status is on the tasks assigned to them. Realize that the level of importance placed on the agreements will likely be much higher to you than to most of the meeting participants.\r\n\r\n• Make sure the meeting notes clearly detail the responsible parties, agreements, and deadlines. As mentioned in my blog entry last Monday, clarity and buy-in on these agreements should be reached before the meeting is over. Thus, there should be no surprises when participants receive the meeting notes. By then, they should be 100 percent committed to the activities they had agreed to perform.\r\n\r\n• Have a follow-up system in place to track the meeting agreements. It’s more important to have a system in place than to get sophisticated with special project management software or automated tools. The simplest way is to set reminders in your device or agenda. There are usually three to five major agreements reached in a meeting, so this should not represent an extraordinary demand on your time. Even if it does, if the meeting agreements were important to you, you will have a vested interest in making sure the commitments are fulfilled.\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\nFeel free to use the comments section on this page to ask questions or post comments.\r\n\r\nPercy M. Cannon\r\nAuthor, Consultant, Facilitator & Coach\r\

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