End your meetings with a BANG!

End your meetings with a bang!
Joe Burroughs

Joe Burroughs

Many people are frustrated by uncertainty and complexity in their jobs. I use Agile principles to provide clear and simple strategies so that you can win at work!

Everything ends... except, it seems, bad meetings.

Sometimes meetings seem like they will never end. More often than not it ends up being the worst meetings that tend to drag on with no agreement, no next steps, and no one wanting to speak up and take charge of anything. 

If you are running a meeting like this it makes you look weak and ineffective and we do not want that! Instead, the meetings you lead should end with a clear resolution, loose ends tied up in a pretty bow, and a quick upbeat progress statement that lets everyone know you are getting things done!

How should you end a meeting?

Meetings are really nothing more than conversations. So, consider how you end a good conversation and apply that to how you end your meetings. Let’s take a look at some of the things we do as conversations come to a close.

Things we do as conversations close:

  • Recap the points made by others
  • Highlight decisions or agreements
  • Confirm understanding
  • Set next time to connect / get together

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5 Tips for ending your meetings with a BANG!

Below you will find 5 tips for ending all your meetings with a bang! These are tried and true tips based on translating the natural ways we end conversations to how you can end your meetings to make them more effective and to make you stand out as someone who gets things done!

The key to implementing these tips is to use them at the end of every meeting. Don’t save these for only the most important meetings. If you don’t get in the habit of using these tips in every meeting you won’t be as familiar with them or as comfortable executing them. So use these tips every time until they become a habit.

Once you build these tips into your meeting routine you will be surprised at how effective your meetings are and the feedback you will get from attendees and participants.

5 Tips for ending your meetings with a BANG!

  1. When you have 5 minutes remaining step in and recap the 2-3 major points/takeaways using the words and giving credit to the speakers. This might sound something like, “Susan said the final copy for the online application will not be approved until Friday at the earliest so we’ll schedule a follow-up on Tuesday to review that. Tim pointed out that the roadmap for Q2 is ready and he is sending it out to everyone on this call later today. Then Jan suggested we move the planning event until after next week’s credit review meeting so look for an updated invite.”
  2.  Immediately after the recap highlight any significant decisions or agreements. This can be a quick soundbite like, “We decided to hold off on announcing the new analyst position until Q2.”
  3. Next, you want to give attendees a short window to state any gaps in their understanding. This should only be for those items that people simply missed or completely misunderstood so it will usually have no responses, but on the occasions, there is a lack of understanding this is a very important step. It will sound like, “Ok, based on those few points does anyone not understand those next steps?”
  4. Now, you want to set up the next time the group will connect, and if this is a regular call or meeting highlight that time and date as well. It will go something like this: “So we will all be on tomorrow’s borrowing call and then we will be back on this call on Thursday at 4:00 EST / 1:00 PST.”
  5. Finally, you need to let everyone know the recap, notes, or minutes will be available and how they can expect to receive or find those. Here’s an example of that: “Ok, great. I’ll send out a link to my notes from this call in a few minutes, as always keep me honest, and update or add to them to make sure we have a good record of this meeting. Thanks for your time I’ll speak with you all again soon.”
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Let's put that all together

Here is what the end of that meeting sounds like to participants when you put all those steps together:

“Susan said the final copy for the online application will not be approved until Friday at the earliest so we’ll schedule a follow-up on Tuesday to review that. Tim pointed out that the roadmap for Q2 is ready and he is sending it out to everyone on this call later today. Then Jan suggested we move the planning event until after next week’s credit review meeting so look for an updated invite. We decided to hold off on announcing the new analyst position until Q2. Ok, based on those few points does anyone not understand those next steps? So we will all be on tomorrow’s borrowing call and then we will be back on this call on Thursday at 4:00 EST / 1:00 PST. Ok, great. I’ll send out a link to my notes from this call in a few minutes, as always keep me honest, and update or add to them to make sure we have a good record of this meeting. Thanks for your time I’ll speak with you all again soon.”

That is a powerful recipe for how to end a meeting!

Now that you know an easy step-by-step way to end your meetings you can always stand out as a strong communicator ready to pitch in and cover the details. This helps everyone get in alignment on what was covered and helps you move the ball forward both in the work you do and in your career aspirations!

Cheers,

Joe Burroughs

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