Closing a Meeting
The sixth stage in our model for effective meetings is Closing a Meeting. On the MeetingArk website you can find discussion groups about Closing a Meeting, and a set of FAQs (and answers) relating to Closing a Meeting.
Whilst first impressions are recognised as significant, it is worth remembering that last impressions can be lasting. Our discussion groups on Closing a Meeting embrace a number of topics, starting with summarising points of agreement. It is really important to ensure everyone at the meeting has a clear understanding of what has been agreed and what needs to be done next.
Signing formal documents is a topic that is only relevant for certain types of meeting, for example a board meeting. However, in such meetings an efficient process for signing can make a huge difference in the time taken for signing – particularly when there are a large number of documents.
Leaving before the end is something that can affect all of us and this discussion group could cover whether you should leave discreetly or make a grand exit, as well as discussing the impact of early leavers on those remaining at the meeting.
Many meetings are or become one of a series, so arranging the next meeting is an important topic. Once your meeting series is established a simple “same time next week” may suffice, but negotiating a convenient slot the first time can be tricky, so all suggestions here are welcome.
There is also a discussion group on circulating minutes / notes. It’s usual to copy the notes to all attendees, but who else should be on the circulation list? Should you include a copy of all presentations / hand-outs? And how should you deal with confidential or sensitive matters? (This discussion topic is distinct from the discussion group on taking notes, which you can find under Participating in a Meeting).
Some meetings also offer networking opportunities. How (and when) do you make best use of such opportunities? It would be great if you could share your experiences.
The final discussion topic under Closing a Meeting is clearing up. Arriving to find a room full of debris from a previous meeting is not great, so it’s worth considering this topic. Also, it’s important to remember to remove/erase any confidential or sensitive material (including on flipcharts or whiteboards) before leaving.
We hope you find these discussion groups useful and hope you will contribute to some or all of these discussions about Closing a Meeting.