How many of your meetings actually never “end?” Eventually, you run over time and people start excusing themselves and you’re left with a few stragglers who are desperate for you to release them. Ever led or attended one of these never ending meetings?
Don’t Leave Them Hanging!
As part of your preparation, make sure you are creating a definite CLOSING sequence that you are CONFIDENT in executing and provides CLARITY for all involved.
Endings Matter. Our brains LOVE a closed loop. So give your meeting attendees something they can really use – CLARITY & CLOSURE.
FOR MEETING LEADERS – Design Your Ending & Honor it!
Build in 5 minutes at the end of the meeting for these 3 items.
1. Review decisions, actions and main points of the meeting. (Here’s what we just accomplished or discussed.)
2. Confirm assignments, timelines, action items and other key outcomes from the meeting.
3. Connect the dots and reiterate the impact of them carrying out and accomplishing their action items. Say thank you and help them remember WHY they are taking time to attend these meetings and accomplish these action items. It’s a great moment to reconnect people to the importance of the work, the mission and their contribution.
FOR MEETING ATTENDEES – Ask for What You Need & Take Ownership
If the meetings you’re attending are leaving you scratching your head – take the lead. Make notes and confirm with the meeting leader before you leave. Chances are if you take a moment to do that, many other people in the room will follow your lead and be more proactive about getting clarity and closure for themselves.
If you’re leaving meetings unclear about what your next steps are, it’s up to YOU to clarify it. Don’t tolerate open loops and uncertain endings. You’ll be leading by example and helping to shift the culture of meetings in your organization.
Feel free to forward this note to someone who could use it!
What impact could a more clear & compelling close to your next meeting have for you? For your cause?
I challenge you to give it a try this week and let me know your results!
I look forward to hearing from you and learning from you!
Have a great week,