Management Knowledge Base

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Choosing the Right Decision-Making

After conducting the meeting, you need to bring it to a smooth and logical close. You should know when to close the meeting and how to send participants away with a positive feeling that reflects their satisfaction with what they've

accomplished in the meeting.

To follow up on a meeting you should send the minutes of the meeting to participants, follow up on actions taken, and inform attendees of progress made.

Closing a Meeting and Following Up

Closing a meeting

There are two reasons for closing a meeting:

• You reach the end of the agenda - Once all the agenda items have been properly addressed, it's time to bring proceedings to a close. You shouldn't end a meeting by saying that there's time for one more question. This could lead to overruns that throw the participants' schedules into disarray.

• You run out of time - ​You must end the meeting on time, every time. You should be conscious of time management during the meeting to ensure that the group has the chance to address as much of the agenda as possible. By ending the meeting on time, you send a clear message that you respect the participants' time.

 

Important and what we don't see enough when closing a meeting:

One of your main aims as a meeting leader is to make the participants feel that the meeting was worthwhile. Participants should feel productive and have a clear sense of what needs to be done next. 

 

So, try to:

• Restate the objective of the meeting

• Summarize what was accomplished in the meeting

• Thank participants for attending and for their contributions

• Review the next steps, such as action items, assignments, parked items, and the details of the next meeting

• Evaluate the success of the meeting and collect lessons learned

Following up a meeting

To follow up on a meeting you should send the minutes of the meeting to participants, follow up on actions taken, and inform attendees of progress made.

The minutes should record the date and time of the meeting, who attended, what topics were discussed, the results of discussions, the action items decided on, and information about the next meeting. Also, the minutes provide group members with an indication of how effective they were at achieving objectives.

Minute-Taking: The best approach is to create a process that incorporates the group's agreed standards for what is to be included and apply it consistently. Make sure that the minutes are objective and reflect fact, rather than opinion. Don't allow ambiguous or subjective language to be used. The minutes should be accurate, and clear and easy to follow.

To follow up on actions taken, first confirm the actions in writing with the people assigned to them. You then have to get status reports from each person to ensure that the assignments are being completed.

 

After you follow up on action items, you then inform attendees of progress made since the meeting ended. This can be done by collating the information you've gathered about the action items and then creating a progress report that you can e-mail to attendees.

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