Did you just get out of a really successful meeting with fellow peers ooh-ing aah-ing in excitement? I hate to break it to you, but you might find out that despite the success, the results will turn out limited. But don’t fret, this is actually very common and almost always has to do with inefficient follow-up of the meeting. Something we intent to shed light on this post!
While the definition of a successful meeting might be blurry, to some it may be colleagues in awe or a big thump up from your boss. But the matter of fact is that even if you’ve paid extra attention to the activities that occur before or during the meeting, it’s oftentimes what happens afterwards that defines the success. Therefore, we have listed a few tips to effectively follow up on meetings to make sure you achieve successful and lasting results.
It may feel more natural or even badass, for a better lack of word, to end your meeting with such as spot on statement that it deserves a mic-drop. However, don’t be surprised if all you’re left with is a mailbox that even after an update, states no new message. While colleagues may seem incentive after that mic-drop, you have to make sure that they understand the actions moving forward. Instead, try to put additional focus on the closing of the meeting with an effective recap. This includes a summary of key take-aways and action items, identifying managers of each activity, and establishing expectations and deadlines. When immediately identifying the action items and assigning tasks, participants will feel more inclined to follow through.
While presenting important information, it’s important that you make sure someone is responsible for taking notes to ensure effective follow-up. You can either do it popcorn style, meaning you randomly assign a transcriber each time, or you can set a schedule so that it rotates each time. In addition, while assigning the task, make sure that everyone understands the expectations, listens carefully, and accurately records questions and answers, as well as discussion topics provided during the meetings. When successful, it can also serve as an effective recap of the meeting.
Make sure to always include the following;
- Meeting date and location
- Name of participants
- Key discussion items and decisions
- Individuals responsible for actions and their deadlines
In relation to the point stated above, it’s important to make sure that the action plan is carefully identified in the follow-up. It will serve as an effective roadmap that includes individuals responsible, a description of the tasks, timelines, and a space for status updates. Make sure that you together also prioritize the list of action points from the meeting and update the plan regularly to make sure it is communicated to the team. After the meeting, simply send the action plan to your colleagues.
Follow-up on communication
Needless to say, but clear, concise and consistent communication within the team is crucial in your follow up. Check with your peers from time to time about the status of their action points and send a friendly reminder when deadlines are coming up. For major projects we also recommend providing a weekly update in the form of an email that carefully describes each activity during the week. Also, on a monthly basis, update the action plan and circulate it to necessary peers. You can also request that before meetings, each task manager prepares a progress report to make sure everyone is synced.