Are you hosting effective meetings? Part 2

Establish meeting follow-up is just as important and stating its purpose.

In a previous Michigan State University Extension article titled “Are you hosting effective meetings? Part 1” The importance of distinguishing between results-oriented and communications-based objectives was highlighted. The article also discussed tangible versus intangible outcomes.

When groups are focusing on tangible outcomes, it prevents participants from walking away from a meeting feeling that nothing is accomplished. Following the steps below can help to create closure to the meeting:

  • Summarize what has been accomplished
  • Compare the accomplishments with the desired purpose and objectives
  • Identify unfinished agenda items and determine ways to address them
  • Complete an action plan – who will do what and when?
  • Summarize Action Items
  • Delegate follow up responsibilities 

The group should agree on next steps and the meeting convener should be getting firm, clear commitments to ensure progress between meetings. If an intangible, communication-based outcome needs to lead to action, specific commitments must be made. The progress of the group relies on the meeting convener clearly stating what they will do by when and asking others to do the same. In order to establish and maintain the momentum of any project, request specific commitments and deadlines, and then follow up often.

The Michigan State University Extension Leadership and Community Engagement team offers professional development training, including volunteer board development, communicating through conflict, meeting management and facilitation skills development. To contact an expert in your area, visit the expert page or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).

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