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How to Stop Having the Meeting after the Meeting

Learn what the meeting after the meeting is and the practical steps you can take to prevent it from happening.

The meeting after the meeting is a step often taken by disgruntled employees. Understanding the causes is a quick and easy way to combat the issue before it arises or grows to be a larger issue. In this article, we dive into practical steps you can take to avoid the dreaded meeting after the meeting.

What is the meeting after the meeting? 

If you don’t know exactly what the meeting after the meeting is, it’s time you learn. These meetings can be detrimental to the wellbeing of your team or greater organization, and it’s important that you do everything in your power to prevent them from happening. The meeting after the meeting is typically a meeting that takes place after a regularly scheduled meeting has occurred. These meetings usually aren’t planned ahead of time, and only occur as a means to discuss the meeting that has just taken place. 

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What causes employees to have the meeting after the meeting?

In short, employees tend to hold a meeting after a meeting to discuss the first meeting’s subject matter with colleagues or teammates they trust. This second meeting often takes place because they feel uncomfortable or misinformed, and they feel as though they need to reflect on the matter with their teammates to map out the details. Generally, these conversations occur because of a lack of trust, fear of negative consequences, lack of psychological safety, lack of direction in communicating tough messages, or simply a toxic work environment

8 ways to avoid having the meeting after the meeting

Are you striving to create an environment that is built on trust and transparency? Keep reading to unlock 8 practical steps that will help you eliminate the meeting after the meeting. 

1   Have regular one-on-ones 

Having regular one-on-one meetings is a great way to build a good rapport with your teammates. Not only do these meetings enable you to check in with your teammates and gauge their progress, but they also make it possible for you to create deeper connections and get to know each other beyond work. Having an excellent working relationship with your teammates is also a great way to increase psychological safety, which is fundamental if you want to avoid the dreaded meeting after the meeting. 

2  Give everyone a chance to speak 

If you give everyone an equal opportunity to speak up, the chances of them sharing their thoughts at a meeting after the initial meeting are much smaller. During your initial meetings, make sure everyone who wishes to share their opinion has the opportunity to do so. To put this into practice, simply call on your teammates to share their thoughts and have each person tag another team member until you’ve cycled through the entire team. 

If you aren’t sure if everyone feels heard, check in and have a heart to heart. As someone in a superior role, you’re responsible for ensuring you’re cultivating an inclusive workplace where everyone feels like they have an equal opportunity to speak up and share their thoughts. If they don’t feel comfortable enough to speak up during team meetings, maybe speak to them directly during a one-on-one. What’s most important is cultivating a relationship that makes them feel like they can have a conversation with you, as opposed to about you. 

If you notice that the same people are often talking too much during your team meetings, it may be time to intervene and address the issue. Remember, facilitating inclusive meetings is the key to a happy and healthy team. 

3  Replace “yes, but” with “yes, and”

This tweak may seem small, but in reality, it’s one of many practical steps you can take to create a more positive work environment. Instead of immediately squashing a teammate’s thought or idea, simply acknowledge their participation, and expand on their thought with additional information. Minor tweaks make a huge difference when it comes to making your teammates feel appreciated and heard. 

Exploration is important as stated by Kathy Klotz, founder of Keeping it Human and guest on the Supermanagers Podcast, when she says, “And so, what “Yes and,” says is, look, this idea that we’re creating might not work. However, for purposes of just exploring, I’m just exploring, so let’s not primarily, and prematurely shut it down. Let’s explore. And let’s just see where it goes. Because you don’t know.” 

4 Use positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement reiterates the importance of desired behaviors, meaning it’s extremely important to recognize when someone on your team does something well. This could be wrapping up a project, hitting a new benchmark, or simply being a team player. When someone does something you admire, don’t be afraid to say so. Positive reinforcement also helps boost confidence, which is needed if you want your teammates to work efficiently while feeling appreciated and empowered. 

5  Send a meeting agenda in advance

Circulating your meeting agenda before the initial meeting kicks off is a great way to ensure everyone shows up knowing exactly what to expect. If everyone in attendance is on the same page, you can run an effective meeting that makes it possible for everyone to contribute to the conversation. Meeting agendas make it possible for you to move from one action item to the next with ease. They enable productivity and efficiency, and they streamline your meeting, eliminating the need for the dreaded meeting after the meeting. 

 Using a meeting agenda tool to keep track of discussions: 

1. Gives the meeting a clear purpose

2. Empowers everyone to contribute

3. Allows you to stay on track and avoid distractions

4. Creates a single source of truth for decisions

5. Clarifies expectations and responsibilities

6  Make time for brainstorming

The goal of brainstorming should be to create an environment where everyone can share their 

ideas and perceptions without criticism. This open and honest environment ensures everyone has an equal opportunity to contribute to the conversation. If your teammates feel as though their thoughts are valued, they’ll be less likely to share their discontent with their teammates in a meeting after the initial meeting. 

If you aren’t sure where to start, simply carve out an allotted amount of time during your team meetings that is dedicated strictly to brainstorming. When you circulate the meeting agenda before the meeting, make sure to dedicate a section of the meeting template to brainstorming. This way your teammates can prepare for the session in advance, in addition to adding their thoughts to the agenda. 

7  Observe behaviors during and after meetings

One of the greatest skills that a manager or leader can possess is being intuitive. You have to be able to understand how your teammates feel and gauge their behaviors during important discussions. Additionally, you can take this attention to detail a step further by taking a proactive stance and ensuring you’re communicating both clearly and respectfully. 

If you suspect something is wrong, checking in after the meeting is a great practical step that can be taken before anything spirals out of control. Identifying feelings of discontent before your teammate has the opportunity to host the meeting after the meeting is a great way to deescalate the situation. Making your teammates feel, heard, understood, and appreciated should be your main priority. 

8  Lead by example

As someone in a senior role, you need to uphold your company’s  values and serve as a role model. If you want to foster a positive environment where everyone feels appreciated and valued, you have to lead by example and strive to create that environment for yourself. You’ll also need to live by the same expectations you have of your team.

Don’t go behind peoples backs and have external conversations. Don’t hold back when you feel as though you need to speak up or have an honest conversation. And most importantly, make it known that you’re a manager that appreciates an open dialogue. Let your team know that they can speak up and share their concerns, and lead by the same example. 

Are you ready to eliminate the meeting after the meeting? 

The meeting after the meeting normally takes place when employees don’t feel heard or understood. Additionally, they may feel the need to gather after a meeting if they get mixed signals or aren’t clear on what was discussed. The easiest way to combat these qualms is to improve communication and increase psychological safety. 

If you prioritize clear communication and foster a safe, inclusive environment, your teammates will be less inclined to gather after the initial meeting. If your team still wishes to gather and chat, consider scheduling a weekly watercooler chat and keep the topics of discussion positive. Your teammates should feel empowered to speak up and share their concerns in a safe environment, which should ultimately eliminate the need for the meeting after the meeting all together. 

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About the author

Hannah Ross

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