Meeting Outcomes: How to Turn Discussions into Results

Meeting Outcomes: How to Turn Discussions into Results

Ever been in a meeting where you have no idea what you’re trying to achieve? According to a survey by McKinsey, 6 out of 10 executives believe at least half the time they spend in meetings is ineffective.

Meetings that are poorly planned and lack a clear goal are frustrating and a waste of time. Before the meeting, it’s important to determine what you want to achieve so that you define clearly what meeting outcomes are necessary for the meeting to conclude.

So, what exactly is a meeting outcome? This article will explain everything you need to know about meeting outcomes, why they’re important, and how you can document meeting outcomes easily with AI enhancement.

What are meeting outcomes?

Meeting outcomes can involve decisions on how resources are used, tasks that need to be done, solving conflicts, choosing what’s most important, creating new strategies, or just key pointers in general.

Everything you achieve in a meeting, along with the path you decide to take (including future plans or choices), is considered the outcome of the meeting.

Since what you get from a meeting depends on why you’re having it in the first place, it’s crucial to think ahead and consider what meeting outcomes you and your team are aiming for. Then, you can take concrete steps to reach your meeting objectives.

Examples of meeting outcomes include:

  • Key Points: These are the most important views or conclusions from the meeting, providing a clear and valuable summary of lengthy, repetitive, or unclear discussions.
  • Actions: These are tasks given to specific individuals that need to be followed up on in the next meeting. They usually include who is responsible for them and the deadline for completion.
  • Decisions: These are the choices, agreements, or conclusions made during the meeting that outline future plans.
  • Rules: These are the policies, agreements, procedures, or operational steps that govern how the team operates.
  • Agreements: This refers to the consensus or commitments reached during the meeting.
  • Q&As: These are the questions asked and answered during the meeting.

With Huddles, meeting outcomes are not only automatically identified and labeled, they are also documented according to their category for easy review. Simply filter your outcomes by type for an overview of conclusions achieved in past meetings.

Why are meeting outcomes important?

According to Huddles’ 9 principles of efficient meetings, you shouldn’t hold meetings that don’t yield outcomes. That’s because meetings are essentially a business model where you trade time for conclusions. Therefore, the productivity of your meeting depends on the outcome of the meeting.

If you’ve dedicated time and resources to a meeting but don’t leave with any valuable takeaways, decisions or actions to take, then it was unfortunately a complete waste of time.

Having clear meeting outcomes brings many advantages to both individuals and organizations:

  • Clarity and Focus: Clearly defined meeting goals give discussions a clear direction, ensuring that participants grasp the meeting’s purpose and what needs to be accomplished.
  • Efficiency: Specific meeting goals streamline discussions and decision-making, reducing the chances of veering off-topic and keeping meetings on course.
  • Responsibility: When meeting goals are set, tasks are assigned, making it simpler to hold individuals responsible for their contributions and actions after the meeting.
  • Productivity: Clear meeting goals enhance productivity by ensuring that time is well-spent addressing crucial issues and advancing towards objectives.
  • Alignment: Meeting goals align team members towards shared aims, promoting teamwork and ensuring everyone is striving for the same targets.
  • Decision-making: Well-defined meeting goals aid decision-making by offering a structure for assessing options and reaching agreement on significant matters.
  • Follow-up and Implementation: Meeting goals form the basis for follow-up actions, guaranteeing that decisions taken during the meeting are put into action and progress is monitored effectively.
  • Continuous Enhancement: Through assessing meeting goals and their impact, teams can pinpoint areas for improvement in future meetings, fostering effective communication and collaboration over time.

How do you document meeting outcomes?

Documenting meeting outcomes is essential for making sure that choices and tasks are carried out effectively. Here are some common ways to record meeting outcomes:

  • Meeting Notes: Taking detailed notes that summarize important discussions, decisions, tasks assigned, and deadlines can create a thorough record of the meeting outcomes.
  • Action Item List: Keeping a list of action items that includes tasks from the meeting, responsible individuals, and deadlines helps monitor progress and accountability.
  • Meeting Summaries: Crafting a set of meeting minutes highlighting the main results, key decisions, and action items can offer a quick reference for all participants.
  • Shared Documents or Platforms: Using shared files or collaboration tools like Google Docs, Microsoft Teams, or project management software to document meeting outcomes allows for easy access and teamwork among team members.
  • Visual Aids: Employing visuals like diagrams, charts, or tables to illustrate key points and outcomes can simplify complex information and make it more memorable.
  • Follow-Up Email: Sending an email to all attendees summarizing the outcomes, action items, and deadlines can act as a reminder and reference for everyone involved.
  • Task Management Systems: Integrating meeting outcomes into task management systems such as Trello, Asana, or Jira can help monitor progress on action items and ensure timely completion of tasks.
  • Feedback and Review: Encouraging feedback from participants on the meeting outcomes and process can enhance future meetings and ensure accurate documentation of all necessary information.
  • Utilizing AI Meeting Note Takers Like Huddles AI: If you use an auto notes taker such as Huddles, you simply have to turn on AI notetaking, and AI will automatically identify and draw meeting outcomes from your conversation, all in real time. These meeting outcomes are not only clearly documented but also categorized for easy understanding.

By using these approaches, you can efficiently document meeting outcomes, monitor progress on action items, and ensure timely implementation of decisions made during the meeting.

How to Enhance Meeting Outcomes with AI

To enhance meeting outcomes using AI, follow these steps:

Step 1: Sign up for Huddles app

Sign up for or try a free 10-minute trial without signing up.

Step 2: Create a new meeting note

A meeting note is where your meeting outcomes will be documented. Start by creating a new meeting note and configuring basic settings. You can begin with a blank note, select a template from the template gallery, or use the AI agenda creator for a personalized template.

Step 3: Enable AI notetaking

When your Zoom or Google Meet session is about to start, activate AI note-taking by clicking start. The AI will automatically identify meeting outcomes from your discussion. There you go!

Step 4: Review meeting outcomes

Once your meeting ends, go through all Huddles meeting outcomes sorted by type to fully grasp the results achieved in that specific meeting.

Get AI meeting outcomes with

Huddles app is the only AI note taker that offers real-time AI-generated notes. With just one click to activate AI notetaking, Huddles automatically takes notes for you using your conversation, similar to having a personal assistant. Streamline your meetings and get better meeting outcomes with Huddles’ AI note taker!

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