Your meetings should produce results, not just small talk. If your meetings seem unproductive, utilize these tips to ensure your meetings have follow-through.
Ask for alignment: Ask, “Is everyone OK with where we ended up?” This is a simple step and will bring any questions or concerns to the forefront. The idea isn’t to confirm agreement from all individuals, but to make sure everyone understands what was discussed and the direction the team will be taking.
Confirm next steps: Too often meetings end without clear direction regarding what each person will do going forward. Verbally state—and also include in meeting minutes—what needs to be accomplished before the next meeting. This includes specific projects, commitments, deadlines, and follow-up items.
Follow through via email: Send meeting minutes or action items to everyone in attendance to ensure accountability. This way people have a convenient reminder regarding what they need to do, and there’s no confusion at the next meeting.
Give recognition: Give credit to anyone who went above and beyond or gave valuable insight. This will inspire others on your team to work harder.