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Part V

Follow Through

 

Meetings do not end in rooms or on screens. The agendas and all the things that were tackled will be well carried through after. We have all left a meeting feeling confident about how everything went. Yet, we later wonder why so little happened. There are a few reasons why productive conversations go nowhere. To make sure productivity does not slow down you have to make sure that follow-ups are made.

Being held accountable for certain tasks is part of being in a meeting. It ensures that the task or project will be done at the given time. It is also a way to set clear and organized instructions for the team to follow. At the end of each agenda, learn to pause to agree on the next step. This is to establish specific commitments with a clear deadline. This is also the time to let the one in-charge negotiate the given time if it is too short for the task. It gives team members a clearer and more effective path instead of just doing things on their own.

A common mistake is using “by the next meeting” as a deadline. Give enough consideration for the people working on the project. Being at home does not always equate to having more time. Learn to coordinate with your team. Also, make it clear each commitment will be fulfilled as agreed upon. If ever something unexpected comes up, remind them to immediately contact and discuss changes. It is good to assign someone to check in at appropriate times to make sure commitments are being kept.

Planning the next meeting can also be discussed. Keep in mind that each team member has their own set of responsibilities and tasks. Immediate meetings would not be possible. Find a common time where persons in charge can give an adequate report. You can plan for a meeting when everyone is halfway through or an unexpected delay happened. Meetings are done to be informed about every aspect of the project or task. If it is a business partner, they are likely the one to reach you after the meeting. You can also give them a call, after a certain amount of time, to follow-up with the terms.

Being responsible professionals is also an end product of meetings. We do not end a meeting without having things to do or being proud of the things we have done. Meetings are also venues to become stronger as a team. These follow through will give you responsibility and will strengthen your bond as a team. Be there to help when one is in need or be there to remind that work should be done without having to sound proud or rude. This way meeting will be a little more educational and will help you as you grow on the industry and field you have chosen.