You can have an effective meeting that has a defined purpose, the right people and the right schedule; however, if you do not follow-up, the meeting loses its overall effectiveness. We often put so much effort in planning and leading our meetings that we can become weary when it comes to follow-up. You may be someone who doesn’t enjoy taking (or reading) minutes or you may have other meetings that need to be planned and scheduled. You get so busy with the next meeting that you don’t have time for follow-up. This is a critical mistake. If you want to continue to engage your members (who are mostly volunteers), they need to see that you are serious about accomplishing the collective goals in order to continue to be involved. How do we follow-up on a meeting in a way that doesn’t become overburdensome and keeps the group making progress? Join me this week for three suggestions on how to follow-up after your next meeting.
- Schedule time. Just as you have scheduled time to host the meeting and prepare for the meeting, it’s very important to schedule time to follow-up on the meeting. I recommend scheduling this follow-up time at the same time you schedule the meeting. This protects your calendar from getting overwhelmed with other meetings and events before you have had the opportunity to follow-up.
- Keep it simple. Unless you have specific requirements from your board or another governing body, keep your follow-up notes simple. Rather than a detailed account of everything that happened and everything that was discussed, consider formatting your follow-up notes to be something similar to the following headings: Decisions Made, Action Items (with people responsible), Discussion Highlights and Attendees.
- Share it quickly. In order to maintain momentum and making progress toward your collective goals, it’s important to share these notes quickly with your group and schedule additional time on your calendar to work on the action items you are responsible for implementing. As the meeting leader, it is particularly important for you to demonstrate the level of importance follow-up is to the group’s progress. By sharing the notes quickly, you are maintaining the momentum of an effective meeting and setting expectations for future meetings to also be effective.
So what about you? What do you do to follow-up after your meetings?
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