Is the end of your meeting awkward? Do your meetings end on a low note? Do you have less energy at the end of your meetings? Do your attendees not know when to log off?
You've done all the work to create an engaging meeting; take the last step and end your meeting on a high note. It's very easy for work-minded people to forget this important step, but for recurring meetings, I think you'll see the benefits of investing in this step. You'll help your meeting establish rhythm and ritual by starting and ending every meeting in the same or similar way.
Erica Olsen, author of Strategic Planning Kit for Dummies, says:
You successfully made it all the way through your strategic planning meeting. You did it! You accomplished everything you intended. You have the key pieces of your strategic plan in place. You're feeling great. Everyone is slowly packing up and heading out the door, but you sense a feeling of exhaustion and maybe a little anxiety. You're wondering why.
What just happened is that you unintentionally ended your strategic planning meeting on a low note. In most cases, you have more to cover in your meeting than you have time for. You end up rushing the last part of the meeting to get it all done.
No matter where you are in your agenda, structuring the last half-hour of the meeting to end on a high note is critical to getting everyone excited about the new strategic direction.
The best way to get people jazzed about the plan is to have them visualize success and ensure that they're comfortable with the work product. What does success look like? Help your team feel successful by living the future today.
Ask your team to draw a picture of what the company may look like if you achieve your strategic plan. How many employees? What is the office like? Where are you located? Who are your customers? What's the media saying? And so on.
Then have your team explain its vision to the group. After the drawings and explanations are over, tell your staff members to hang their creations at their desks to remind them of the plan and their part in it. That way, everyone leaves the planning session feeling successful, brought into the decisions that were made, and not overworked.1
Here are more ways to end your meeting on a high note.