Meetings are often the primary communication tool for teams. The way meetings begin and end impact the quality of the meeting. The episode explains five different ways to end your team meeting. The techniques encourage reflection and allow everyone to gain data about where the team is at. The episode builds on 056 which talked about how to open a meeting.
What You’ll Learn
- Why being intentional about how you end your meetings can help your teams be more successful.
- Five techniques to close your team meetings.
- How to increase reflection from team members and gain more insights into member’s perception of a topic.
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The Weekly Challenge
Feel like reading instead of listening? Download the PDF transcript or read the transcript below. Enjoy!
Welcome to The Deliberate Creative Podcast Episode 57. Today I am going to share with you five ways to end your team meeting. In the last episode, Episode 056, I shared five ways to open your team meeting so it only makes sense today to talk about closings. This episode is part two of a three-part series that are all focused on how you design and lead your team meetings. So after listening to this one, make sure you listen to Episode 058 as well so you can get more information.
I think the beginning and the end of a team meeting can be very powerful. They can convey a lot about the tenor and the topics within the meeting. Being intentional and thoughtful about how you open or close a meeting can help your team come together. It can help them build a sense of trust and camaraderie. It can help them communicate better and ultimately it is going to help the team reach their purpose even quicker. I am going to share with you five ways that you might end your meeting. Select the one that makes the most sense for your team and for the topic. Do not just randomly pick one because it seems fun or cool, but really give it some thought. Which one seems to be the best fit in your situation?
1. Using Climer Cards [01:56]
The first one is to use a tool that I have created called Climer Cards. Climer Cards are a simple deck of cards. They are a versatile team building and creativity tool designed to deepen conversations, promote more learning, and to generate ideas. There is a ton of ways to use them, but right now I just want to explain one technique that you can use as a closing. At the end of the meeting, you will lay out all the Climer Cards on the table, image side face up. The cards look like a deck of playing cards but on one side are images. They are all hand-drawn water color paintings I did. The images were designed to evoke metaphors and imagination and to help people think in a bit different way. So you are going to lay all the cards out, image side face up, and then you are going to ask everyone to select a card that is a symbol or a metaphor for something related to your topic.
Let’s say that you were working on a project in that meeting and the whole meeting was focused on a particular project. You might say to your team, “Select a card that is a symbol or a metaphor for your impression of our project.” You even can get more specific, “Your impression of our project and where we are right now.” And then after everyone has selected a card, ask each person to show their card and to share what card they selected and why. Really it is the why that matters. It is what they say. It does not even matter what card they select, but they are going to share some information and their impressions with you that you might not get in any other way. It could be very powerful.
I highly recommend using Climer Cards. I will put the link to buy them in the shownotes if you want to get a deck, but the website address is climercards.com. You can go there and get a deck, they are only $20. They usually ship out the same day or next day so pretty easy if you have a meeting in a week or two, you will most likely get them in time to use them. So that is the first technique, Climer Cards.
2. One Word or One Sentence Whip-Around [04:09]
The second technique is just either a one word or one sentence whip-around. Let’s say you had a conversation about your budget for the next year and you redesigned the budget, you came to some conclusions around it and you just want to do a check-in and see where people are at with it. You might ask people to share one word that describes how you are feeling about our budget right now. You just get one word. After you have done that, if you feel like you need more conversation, you can have it, otherwise you just stop there and the meeting is over. Or you might give them a full sentence, same thing, share one sentence that describes how you are feeling about our budget right now. So that is number two – the one word or one sentence whip-around.
3. Gots and Wants or Pluses and Deltas [05:02]
This one can be done either verbally or in writing. It is just a good way to check in to see where people are at. This has two names; one is Gots and Wants or Pluses and Deltas. Let’s say you want to use Gots and wants. You might give everybody an index card and on one side of the card they write the word “Gots” and on the other side of the card they write the word “Wants”. On the “Gots” side they are going to write their response to what is one thing you got out of our meeting today. What did you get? And then on the other side is, what is one thing you want next time in our meeting? The responses to this can be really valuable. You can have everyone pass them in, you can collect them. The nice thing is that they are anonymous so you are not necessarily going to know who said what because they do not have to put their name on it. And so if you feel like the people might not share something verbally or maybe you just do not have the time to go around and hear everyone but you want to hear that information, this is a quick and easy way to do that. Sometimes on the wants what you will find are things like, “Oh, it was too warm in the room and next time I want it to be cooler,” which can be helpful information but a lot of times you will get something more in-depth. “One of the things that I got from the meeting today was I felt a sense of closure around X, Y, Z topic.” So that is Gots and Wants.
A spin-off of that is Pluses and Deltas. Pluses would be the positives from the meeting or the project or whatever the topic is and then delta, meaning the symbol for change. One thing that they want to change or they would like to see changed. Again, you can do that verbally or with index cards or post-it notes.
4. Using Likert Scale [07:06]
The fourth technique is something I mentioned in the last episode and that is using the Likert Scale, the fist to five method to share a perspective or to rate something. So you will say to the group, “On a scale of zero to five, how helpful was this meeting?” And then you will have them hold up their fingers, so a fist is zero, one finger is one, two fingers is two and so forth, five being amazing, zero meaning horrible. And you can ask any question you want. That example was how helpful was this meeting, but you can ask any question where you want a rating.
You can do that either with or without verbal explanation. Sometimes what I have seen is it can be helpful too when you are trying to make a quick decision and you just want to find out on a scale of zero to five how comfortable are you with this decision we just discussed. If anyone is below a three, then you ask them to share some more. Or sometimes you might have everybody share. Either way, it can be used either with or without verbal explanation and can be a very helpful technique.
5. Start, Continue, and Stop Doing [08:23]
The fifth way you could end your meeting is having each person think about what is one thing they want to start doing, continue doing, or stop doing based on whatever the topic is that you were exploring in that meeting. I am going to give you a free downloadable template for this last one. It is just a one-page sheet of paper and on one side it has a traffic light — red, yellow, green — and then it gives people space next to that to write. On the red light; what is something you want to stop doing, the yellow light; something you want to continue doing, and the green light; something you want to start doing. You can do that on paper in writing with this template and it is a nice way to have people just quietly reflect. Then you might have them share one of their answers as a full group, or maybe just turn to their neighbor next to them and share their answers with them. You could also just go round, you do not have to have the written part, but you could just have people share one thing they want to start doing, continue doing, or stop doing. Those are a few variations on how you might use that one.
Those are five ways that you can end a meeting. I think the nice thing about using one of these techniques or some intentional way to end the meeting is it provides a sense of closure and it provides an opportunity for people to just spend a moment reflecting on what we just did in the last hour, hour and a half or however long your meeting was. A lot of times what I have seen in team meetings is they just go up until the very last meeting and then there is this sense of, “Oh my gosh! We have to end. Okay everyone, thank you. Bye.” And can leave with an unfinished feeling. So being intentional I think can be very powerful and it can help that team really develop their team dynamics and that process can help them just be more thoughtful and intentional in the projects they are doing, in the products they are creating, or how they are going about their work. Anyway, I highly recommend using one of those techniques.
Again, you can download this free template below. You can order Climer Cards and download the free eBook which gives you a number of different techniques to use the Climer Cards. I think you will find they are very versatile. I love hearing from people about different ways they have used them. Check that out if you are interested in those.
The Weekly Challenge [11:15]
Your challenge for the week is to use one of these techniques as a way to end a meeting that you have coming up in this next week. If you do not meet that often, whenever you are meeting next use one of these techniques and see what happens. Get some feedback from your team after you use it, see if they appreciated it, liked it. But sometimes if you do one of these and you have never done anything like this before, after just one time people might be like, “Okay, yeah that was fine, I don’t quite get it,” but then after doing it for four, five, six meetings, people start to really see the difference. So I encourage you yes, try it once this coming week, but stick with it. Try it five times and see what happens. Maybe not the same technique, although you could use the same technique as you are closing every time and that can also be kind of interesting as well. So play with that, it depends on your team and your purpose and what you are about, but experiment a little. Take some risks.
All right y’all, I hope this is helpful. I hope you have a wonderful creative week. If you have not yet, please subscribe to the podcast that way you will be sure to get the next episode right in your phone. You can subscribe via iTunes or Google Play or Stitcher, I am on all those different apps. Have a wonderful week. I will see you next time. Bye!
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