If appropriate preparations have been made, then the scene is set for an effective meeting. Agendas will have been produced and circulated. Participants will arrive knowing what is to be discussed and with sufficient background information to make relevant contributions.
If appropriate, they will have consulted with people they represent and discussed any pertinent issues.
This lesson will examine the role of the chairperson whose job it is to run the meeting
The Role of the Chairperson
In a more formal meeting, the chairperson will outline the purpose of the meeting and remind members why they are there.
In such a meeting there is little need to refer to this procedure as this is implicit in the established etiquette, namely:
This is one model but alternative models may be adopted.
When discussion is underway, it is the chairperson's responsibility to ensure that it continues to flow smoothly by involving all members present and by not permitting one or two people to dominate the meeting.
Summarizing by the chairperson during meetings can:
The chairperson should pace the meeting, ensuring it runs to time. If the planning has been properly executed, this should not prove to be a problem. At the end of a meeting, the chairperson should remind members what they have achieved and thank them for their contributions. Finally, the time and date of the next meeting should be arranged. Again it is to be noted that this is one model and that successful outcomes can be achieved in different ways with different strategies for different purposes.
While emphasis has been placed on the role of the chairperson, the participation of all members is of great importance.
To ensure an effective meeting, all participants should:
There are many reasons why meetings are not effective, some of which are listed below:
There are many types of meetings and many reasons why meetings may be ineffective. For meetings to be effective, participation is required from all those present. The key skills of interpersonal communication and listening are important.
To ensure the success of a meeting, good preparation is essential and the role of the chairperson is paramount. If these conditions are met, then all participants should leave the meeting feeling a sense of accomplishment, not as if their time has been wasted.
This lesson briefly highlighted some tips on how to conduct an effective meeting. You have completed the last lesson for section 5.
The next section will take you through various aspects of questioning and negotiating.
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