Want to know how to stand out from the typical meetings? Change the way you end!

Bob: “Now that we’re done with the middle – or actual heart – of the meeting, when we finish all the agenda items, it’s time to end the meeting. This is where we reflect on our work, celebrate it, and translate it into actions after the meeting.”

Me (Wendy): “Yes, and it’s not just action items at this point. Like at the beginning of the meeting, we need to align everyone once again at the end so everyone is on the same page when they leave the meeting. As a facilitator, ideally, we have a summary of all the agenda items we covered. We can quickly ask people to give a thumbs up if they agree with the summary or a thumbs down. We can then ask those who gave a thumbs down what doesn’t align with their understanding of the summary.”

Bob: “I like that! I want to caution us that even after the meeting ends, facilitation doesn’t end. I don’t mean getting a project manager to chase after the action items. But again, it’s now back to asynchronous work, and I think we already talk about how to facilitate those.”

Me: “That’s right. But before the meeting ends, I would recommend getting quick feedback from people. It can be a quick retrospective or just a few questions to see if we’ve achieved the outcome of the meeting, how people feel about the meeting, and what we can improve next time around. If it’s a decision-making meeting, I would throw in some quick, fun celebration that we made a decision!”

Bob: “ooo, I like celebrations. That’s a good idea! So…. Wendy…. Do you expect Peter to be able to do all that? 😉 “

Me: “Oh! You have a point! We have to train our boss and the other executives! ARGH! But I nominate you, Bob, to tell Peter what we’ve been up to! 😉 “

Bob: “Why do I feel that the psychological safety barrier was broken just now? 😉 ”

Read Wendy’s entire story here


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