When you finish a good, productive meeting, there’s a sense of accomplishment that can’t be denied. Meetings can be trying – team members don’t always agree, much has to be done in a set amount of time, and then there’s meeting fatigue that inevitably sets in. So when you and your team have done a good job, it’s something to celebrate.
Give yourself that pat on the back – but don’t get too self-assured. The hard work of the meeting has been accomplished, but the harder work of checking off your to-do list has just begun. Until your next follow-up meeting, your mission is to follow through with the tasks you were assigned – and keep up to speed with what the rest of the team is doing, too. After your meeting, do these four things to stay aligned with your goals and make the meeting worth it.
Distribute and review meeting notes
Even if each and every team member took notes during the meeting, for consistency’s sake, it’s important to have an official set of meeting notes to send out after the meeting. That way, there’s no confusion over what was said and decided – a consensus can be reached. Meeting notes should be distributed within a day of the meeting itself. All team members should be encouraged to review the notes, so they can ask questions and be clear on their responsibilities.
Follow up with team members
Whether you’re the boss or a team member, it’s imperative to keep the rest of your crew up to speed with your progress – and vice versa. Group projects are like an ecosystem in which every aspect depends on others. A team member might need you to finish something before they can move on to their part, or information from your task might inform another. Let people you work with know where you’re at and whether you’re on schedule to meet important deadlines. If you’re the boss, don’t let your team members fall off the radar.
Prioritize your commitments
Follow through with all of your tasks, and set milestones for reaching your goals. Figure out which items need to be taken care of first, then work on them in that order. If you stick to your milestones and timeline, you will stay on track. Always do what will make the biggest impact in that moment without getting distracted by little things that pop up but can wait.
Keep the lines of communication open
No matter what stage you at in a project, staying connected is the only way to make sure that the job gets done right. Never hesitate to ask questions – it could save you a lot of time and effort later. Make sure that you truly understand your colleagues when they communicate with you. If something goes wrong, let people know – don’t try to cover it up, as it can come back to bite you. The afterwards of a meeting is all about being accountable and taking responsibility. Communicate both the good and the bad to your team members and your leadership for the best outcome for the project – and for you and your career.