Nailing It: Commitment to follow through

We have probably all been there…

Two weeks have elapsed since the group or team had their last meeting.  It had all ended on a bit of a high and there was energy in the room  to take action on the issues discussed during the meeting. But today you notice as your colleagues walk through the door, they are hurriedly scanning the minutes of the last meeting that they have just grabbed off the printer.  

As the meeting unfolds, yet again, the whole group is let down, and energy palls as the promised follow-up and action made at the last meeting, and documented in the Minutes that were emailed to all the same day – have not been done.

There are some absolutely simple steps you can take as a meeting facilitator to ensure that this doesn’t happen again!

1.   As the meeting comes to a close, get out of your chair, stand by the whiteboard or preferably a flip chart and ask the group to call out all the actions that have been agreed upon.

2.   Note them up, in a short-hand way, and for each ask,

  • And who is responsible to do this?
  • By when?

3.    Ensure that there is understanding and agreement to this.

The benefits of this approach,

  • Summarizes and reminds the group of the results of their discussion
  • It flushes out any misunderstanding about the tasks, expectations and accountabilities
  • It allows for final clarification
  • Provides a strong visual contract with the group (that  – if it is on flip chart paper you can continue to leave in the workplace until next meeting as a  visual reminder of the commitments)
  • Indeed, you can have it on the wall at the beginning of the next meeting, and refer back to it
  • Above all  – it Nails the Accountability!

Jill Tideman

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