Research indicates that our memory of an event or transaction tends to be colored by our experience of its ending. If the event was challenging, difficult, or boring, but wrapped up with a satisfying conclusion, we will come away with a more positive memory than if it was good in the beginning but ended poorly.
Depending upon the purpose of your meeting, here are some ideas for endings:
- Review. Review the highlights and clarify any decisions that were made. Make sure everybody knows what next steps they are responsible for completing. Summarize key learnings. Divide folks into small group and ask them to share the most important things they got out of the meeting and what they plan to do with them later.
- Evaluate. Solicit feedback about the meeting – what worked and what could be done better next time. Even if there were sticky spots, giving folks a chance to express their feelings there in the room is better than leaving them to complain about it in the parking lot or breakroom later.
- Commit. Find ways to solidify and express participants’ commitment to the organization, the cause, or the next course of action.
- Celebrate. Did you just resolve a conflict, make a difficult decision, meet a tight deadline? Celebrate it!