How do you end a meeting?
Over the years in my consulting I have seen and used various methods to end a meeting. For most part when participating in a meeting there is no formal closing, you sit, hear, talk and that’s it. Some meeting chair summarised the action points for all the attendees and received an agreement and for rest of the meetings individuals summarised the action points themselves.
The closing round is worth doing, because it gives everyone, in a sense, a “last word”—the chance to get something off their chest that they might otherwise carry around or whisper to their colleagues later. It creates more mindfulness about what just happened—and how things might go better next time. And it lets you know where the group is at emotionally, as well as potential issues to follow up on that weren’t strictly part of the proceedings.
Above all, closing rounds are usually fun and positive. Jokes are made. Thanks are given. Excitement is expressed. In my book, that’s a better way to end than a general trailing off or listing of action items.
The emphasis added are mine. It is important to get things out of your chest and move on with business rather than engaging in water cooler gossip later on. It is also worth sharing and absorbing the positivity (or constructive criticism for that matter) at the end of a tough meeting and get on with the business of getting things done.