Written communication is one of the most essential forms.
Effective writing involves careful choice of words and results in greater clarity than verbal instruction. Written communication is necessary for managers when reinforcing their message across the team.
Why are Meeting and Agreement Recaps Important?
Meeting and agreement recaps are a powerful way to establish credibility and keep teams accountable for project deliverables. When done correctly, this simple strategy will reinforce communication, eliminate misunderstandings or confusion, and increase the likelihood of achieving desirable results.
If you are conducting a project meeting, there is a reasonable probability that some decisions are made during that time, including assigning certain duties to different team members. Getting these decisions in writing and sending a copy of those agreements to everyone in attendance helps achieve the following:
Ensures accountability and ensures that progress is not lost
During a business meeting, someone may volunteer to do something they may forget later. The same is true for decisions: when things are being decided, they can easily be forgotten since this may have just been one of many meetings—documenting these decisions or actions in writing as a permanent means of communication, makes useful where record maintenance is required.
(Ever hear of "meeting minutes"?)
Moreover, a written record eliminates uncertainty on who is responsible for what and how the project should advance. Most importantly, it allows both the project team and manager to easily keep track of progress relative to goals and know who is responsible for each contribution.
Offers alignment and Transparency
By writing out the final decisions and forwarding them to the relevant parties, you can ensure that everyone (even the absentees) has visibility into the action items, next steps, and important decisions.
Meeting recaps also give team members a clear direction on where the project is headed and how to move forward with it. This comes in handy when a stakeholder or team member does something that doesn't align with the agreements. You can easily discuss the decision by reviewing the written recap.
Encourages employee engagement and gives due credit
Revisiting the written recap can help managers see which team members achieved what they had initially promised. The results can then be compared, and credit can be given where due. This helps increase motivation and employee engagement, thereby increasing productivity.
Recapping meetings and agreements helps create a forum where anyone can raise questions or concerns about the decisions. This helps clear any confusion on the spot and prevents future problems from materializing.
How to Create an Effective Agreement Recap?
Take notes of expectations you and your team members have from the project and list them in a precise bullet-pointed manner. Email these pointers to the relevant member(s), and highlight the deadline (if you have any). Send a reminder periodically so they can stay on top of their duties.
It is more than helpful to back up verbal agreements during meetings with written agreements... doing this may just be one of the simplest and most effective actions a manager can take.
Nick Anderson has been a student of leadership for 30 years beginning the day he received a novel “Leadership Award” from his U-12 soccer coach. During his 25-year career in banking Anderson led teams through mergers, acquisitions, bank failure, recessions and rapid growth while successfully managing the throes and pitfalls of being a middle manager. As a community volunteer Anderson led nonprofit organizations through periods of significant change as a board member, treasurer, vice president and board chair. Learn more at Chosen-Leader.com.
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