When you host the meeting follow this seven-step flow:
What is the purpose of our work? What results have we promised?
Accurately, what has happened to-date? This is a fact-based conversation: facts first, explanations second.
What worked well? (Always do this before you address what did not work well.)
What did not work well? For each thing that did not go well, what can we learn from and improve?
Who is there to appreciate and, specifically, for what? (Do not skip this step!)
What will we do to improve? These are actionable insights (e.g., “Include marketing at the beginning of the next product development cycle rather than the end”), not concepts (“We need to have better teamwork”). Who is promising to do what and by when?
What is our most important focus for improvement between now and our next review? Given the most important focus, what conversation is it time for now? Align, act, or adjust?