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Closing comments

Good Group Tips

In principle, every chance we have to hear each other’s perspectives is a chance to improve understanding and build the foundation for better decisions. Often, the most valuable comments come right at the end of a meeting or discussion. At ease with each other after conversing awhile, people are more apt to speak their hearts. The group as a whole gets to see the unity of perspectives so often present at the end of a good meeting. This is also a last chance for someone to give voice to something important.

Practical Tip: Encourage meeting participants to make closing comments just before adjourning. Build time for closing comments into every agenda. Ask each person to share a reflection about the meeting or perhaps a particular hope or concern going forward. Encourage that the comments are brief, one at a time, and open no new discussions. A prescribed order helps. Let anyone pass who wishes.

Speak your own closing comment from your heart. Take in the closing comments of others.

– Craig Freshley

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4 thoughts on “Closing comments

  1. Hi Kym,
    Thanks for writing.
    I see a Debrief as a chance to discuss what we just discussed; look back on the process and talk about what worked well and what didn’t.
    I see Closing Comments as different in two ways: not a discussion and not a back-looking critique. When I facilitate Closing Comments I specifically say that we don’t expect to open up any new conversations and I simply give each person an chance to say something to the group – one-way comments – we don’t comment on each other’s comments. And I ask people to “say what’s on their mind going forward;” share an inspiration, and hope or maybe a concern they they are walking away with.

  2. Our tendency, in spite of good intentions, is to not leave quite enough time for participants to want to continue to be engaged. That means that this wrap-up step, the ‘now what’ becomes rushed and lost in a flurry of gathering books, coats, etc.

  3. Yes, I have experienced this many times in our EIP meetings and did feel the warmth of reflective and cohesive closure, a sense of team, possibilities, accomplishment. i will share this idea with others, and plan to use it in future meetings that I am facilitating. Thanks.

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