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Your meeting is as good as your follow up

You may have facilitated a fantastic online meeting where you engaged participants, made important decisions and made progress on your most important projects; however, the real test of a “good” meeting happens after the meeting is over. Once you have had a good meeting, it is critically important to follow-up as quickly as possible to keep the momentum, progress and relationships going. During these days of ongoing online meetings, it can be really challenging to find the time to follow-up because you have the next meeting – and the next – and the next….Join me this week as I highlight three things you can do to follow-up quickly from your meetings.

Take action immediately

For one-on-one or small group meetings that have just a few easy action items, try to do them immediately after the meeting. They don’t even have to hit your to-do list!  One of my mentors demonstrated this early in my career and I was always impressed with his ability to follow-up quickly. He said that it was easiest to go ahead and do it that day so that he wouldn’t have to “carry it” to the next day.  This isn’t always possible depending upon what you have after the meeting, but when you can, it is very energizing and sets the example for accountability and follow-up to the rest of your team or workgroup. If you cannot follow-through with the email quite yet, start a draft with some initial ideas so that you can finish in the next day or two. The sooner you share them, the easier it is for participants (and you) to remember what you said you would do and to continue taking action. 

Schedule time

We are great about scheduling time for our meetings but are we scheduling time for non-meeting work? This aligns well with creating and scheduling your “ideal week.”  When you create space in your calendar for non-meeting working time, you create opportunities for timely follow-up. If you see every blank space in your calendar as an opportunity for more meetings, you will have more meetings and struggle with following-through with your previous meeting action items. I know it can be difficult to schedule and keep your non-meeting time blocks (I personally really struggle with this) but when you honor the meetings with yourself, you are able to also honor those you are working with by following through on what you said you will do!

Keep it simple

One of the best ways to have volunteers participate in future meetings is to be able to show that you will get things accomplished. People enjoy being part of groups that get things done. Unless you have a group that is required to keep detailed minutes (such as a government committee), your follow-up doesn’t have to be complicated. At the end of the meeting, be clear about decisions made, action items/steps, who is responsible and what is the timeframe for follow-up. If you (or your notetaker) is sharing your screen, these can be written in “real time” which makes follow-up much easier. When we keep the follow-up simple, it’s easier for us to be able to follow-up quickly and to maintain momentum from our meetings. 

So, what about you? What are you going to do to follow-up after your next online meeting?

As you plan your next online meeting, check out my free resource, How to Lead Your Best Online Meeting Yet

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

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