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How to avoid post-meeting misunderstandings? The POINt Tool is a great way to support post-meeting success.

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Have you ever left a meeting very satisfied, only to discover later that it did not go as well as you thought or that participants did not reach the same conclusions as you did?

Recently, I read this article, which unveils intriguing research. After-meeting discussions revealed starkly different reactions among local teams, unbeknownst to their counterparts.

The critical minutes after a virtual meeting can build up or tear down teams, but we often do not know it. Frequently overlooked, these post-meeting moments are crucial to team cohesion or discord. In virtual meetings, where reading team members' reactions is challenging, these become even more critical. 

Introducing the POINt tool, a game-changer in my team management arsenal. 

This acronym, which stands for Pluses, Opportunities, Issues, and New Thinking, is an approach that helps avoid post-meeting misunderstandings by taking time at the end of each meeting to debrief both on the content and the process and communication. By taking the time to delve into these four elements, discussing and jotting them down. (A virtual whiteboard is an excellent tool for this!) you bring transparency and accountability since the team has a chance to discuss issues and ways to improve in the future. 

Let's explore each of these elements in detail:

  • Pluses (what they like/went well). For instance, "We like that we were on time and covered all the items on the agenda" or "We like that we came up with new ways to deal with our manufacturing issues."

  • Opportunities (what this meeting can accomplish in the future for the team/projects). For example, "This may help us reach our goals faster" or "This may help convince management that this approach has potential."

  • Issues (phrased as questions so they do not come as a criticism but rather a question to be solved). For example, " How might we ensure that everybody reads the reports and reviews data before our meetings?" or "How can we get buy-in from upper management?"

  • New thinking: take each critical issue raised and brainstorm ways to solve it, then pick one or two of these ideas to implement. For example, if we take the first issue, "How to ensure everybody reads the report and reviews data before our meetings?, some ideas could be: have people mark that they read it, have a (fun) quiz at the beginning of each meeting, assume that everybody will have seen the data and agree that no time will be spent on presenting data in our meetings (only the impact of the information), circulate a summary of the data by ChatGPT to make it faster to review...The team will then select which ideas they want to try for the next meeting.

The best way to do this with a virtual team is to use a virtual whiteboard (Mural or Miro, for example). It is best to take each question and discuss it. You can do it directly if the group is small, or let team members work individually and post their thoughts on the whiteboard first, then discuss.

By being proactive and bringing the after-meeting into the meeting, the POINt helps teams address the issues proactively, focus on joint improvement and accountability, and avoid post-meeting misinterpretations and resentment. 

To learn more about this tool and other ways to improve team efficiency, check out my book Fire Up Innovation: Sparking and Sustaining Innovation Teams.

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P.S. Here are four ways to get support about your innovation challenges and team collaboration.

  1. Want more help with innovation in your organizations? Set up a free consultation today!

  2. If you want to check my book, download a sneak peek of my book or order it at a discounted rate on my website.

  3. Follow us on Linkedin

  4. Purchase your copy of Fire Up Innovation: Sparking and Sustaining Innovation Teams.  Be sure to recommend it to team members and your friends. Write a review on Amazon if you find it useful.

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