You may have facilitated a fantastic meeting where you engaged participants, made important decisions and made progress on your most important projects; however, the real test of an effective meeting happens after the meeting is over. When you follow up from the meeting, you support momentum, progress, relationships and interest in your next meeting. Join me this week as I provide questions to ask when planning your meeting follow-up.
Who can lead the follow-up efforts?
One of the challenges in following-up from meetings happens when one person is trying to take care of all aspects of the meeting – from planning to facilitating to following up. When hosting a meeting, consider the different people on your staff (or highly engaged volunteers) who can provide specific leadership in different aspects of the meeting. As I mentioned last week, utilize the strengths of your team to share the roles and responsibilities for each aspect of the meeting. During this process, identify one person who will lead the follow-up efforts. This person may lead all of the follow-up efforts for every meeting or you may have different people for each group.
What format will you use for following up?
As I mentioned in the 10 Keys to Accountability blog series, consider a simple format that includes decisions made and action items at the beginning of the meeting notes. Also, include both action items and names in the body of the email (rather than just in the attachments). For small working groups, I often create notes as part of an email that is ready to send when the meeting is over. As you consider your follow-up plan, consider which formats and approaches will work best for your workgroup, committee, network or council.
When will you follow-up from the meeting?
If you created notes in an email during your meeting, you can send that email once the meeting is over. One of the strategies that works really well in following up in a timely way for larger group meetings is to schedule time on your calendar to follow-up at the same time you schedule your meeting. Consider what is realistic for your team and the timeliness of your action items when determining a follow-up schedule. If possible, send your follow-up notes and action items within a week after your meeting. Remember to also schedule time on your calendar to complete your action items.
So what about you? What are you going to do to support timely follow-up from your meetings?
If you would like to learn more skills and engage with others who are also on a coalition, partnership or team building journey, consider joining my wait list for Coalition Catalyst Spring 2022.
For additional ideas on conducting effective coalition meetings, check out my Effective Meeting Checklist!