Ok, this is not about putting an end to office meetings, much as we all would like to see that happen. This is more about how to help your meetings end more successfully. By paying more attention to how meetings typically end, I’ve come to believe that creating a good ending to a meeting is one of the more important but often overlooked meeting practices.
Seldom does a meeting end badly, but all too often, meetings seem to dissipate, drift or fade out, rather than end. As the finish time nears, energy drops as attendees start looking at their phones, thinking about what they need to catch up on, or their head is already onto the next meeting.
A deliberate good ending can greatly enhance the time just spent for all present. If possible, the person conducting the meeting should do what they can to raise energy at the end of a meeting with just a word or two of positive reinforcement.
Here are a few other ways to end a meeting well:
- close with your voice just a tad louder…it will raise the energy in the room
- if possible, purposely end 10 minutes early, everyone will appreciate this
- reiterate all that was accomplished and the positive steps taken and give attendees an idea of how much was accomplished…for example, “good work, I think we’re over half way there on this.”
- call out action items and assign individuals specific tasks and deadlines
- thank all attendees for their time spent and contribution
I believe that when a meeting ends well the attendees think about the subject matter just a little bit more. I’ve also noticed that the ideas that manifest after a meeting are usually equally or more important than the thinking that occurs during. In short, good endings create better results.