conducting effective meetings | steps in planning a meeting|meeting best practices

conducting effective meetings | steps in planning a meeting|meeting best practices

How to organize meetings. Meetings are prevalent in modern organizational life. A meeting is a human encounter between two or more people. A meeting is an act or process of coming together as an assembly to debate certain issues and problems for decision- making of business administration. Listening, writing and speaking are the skills we use in meetings. Meetings can be used to clarify, negotiate, prepare or solve problems.
 “Meetings have generally been the background structure for examining and assessing what is assumed to be the ’really’ important matters of organizational life, for example, power, decisions, ideology, and conflict and conducting effective meetings | steps in planning a meeting|meeting best practices”.

Image of conducting effective meetings | steps in planning a meeting|meeting best practices
Image of conducting effective meetings | steps in planning a meeting|meeting best practices 

Purpose of  organizing meetings
Coordinate and control the organization.

Negotiate an issue.

Consult or inform delegates/colleagues.

 Solve problems and make decisions.

Planning for the future
Networking departments.

Clarifying and settling emergency issues/rumors
Useful forum for public praise and celebration

The role of a chairperson (Owen Hargie et al. 1999)
Opening the meeting
Initiating discussion on agenda
Upholding the rules 
Providing people sufficient opportunity to express their views
 Conducting votes on resolutions
Regulating the discussion
Ensuring good democratic conduct of meetings
Agenda for meetings 
Meetings are held for various reasons. It is held to discuss strategies to get a new project, to work out implications of new responsibility, to decide modalities of doing a new job, to discuss progress, to brainstorm solutions to problems and to discuss long-term or short - term policies.

Good meetings are usually as a result of planning. It is certainly worth investing time getting the agenda right. The agenda of any meeting should be distributed well in advance. Every member of the institution is encouraged to contribute to agenda creation. The agenda should have easy items at the beginning, the harder items in the middle and with an up note at the end. Make it a habit at the start of each meeting to restate its purpose or agenda. One person should take the responsibility of conducting the meeting.

A meeting is typically headed by a chairperson and its deliberations are recorded in a written form called minutes. Each meeting should have a clear purpose or agenda. Agendas are normally helpful to focus efforts and save time. The items on the agenda are grouped in a logical sequence or order of importance. The chairperson has to prepare the agenda before the meeting. The team members are informed in advance of timing, venue, agenda, duration and what they need to bring. During the discussion, all team members are given an equal chance to share their thoughts. The chairperson should acknowledge everyone's contribution. .People must stick to the agenda and discuss matters relevant to the agenda. People should follow the discipline and participate in the deliberations.  People maintain an atmosphere of good listening. The chairperson has to summarize the discussed ideas now and then. Efforts must be taken to reach conclusions via consensus. There should be a time limit for the deliberations, not more than 90 minutes. The chairperson should conclude the meeting by clarifying action steps, establishing accountability, confirming contributions, encouraging feelings of accomplishment and ending on time. The minutes of the meeting has to be published immediately after the meeting.

The minutes are the historical record of the meeting and the evidence of the actions/ outcomes (deliberations). The minute-taker is one of the most important and powerful people in meetings. He has the ability to listen to the words someone is saying, absorb them, evaluate the manner of the delivery and identify the speaker’s point of view- the message. It is ongoing listening and simultaneous summarizing.  Minutes of meetings do not follow a prescribed format. It can have the date and time of the meeting, names of people attended the meeting, agenda, points discussed and decisions taken.

Meetings are important in sharing information to its team members or employees regarding the critical functional, political, technological and legal issues faced by an organization. Meetings are important in shaping organizational norms and improving work processes. Meetings play a psychological role in organizations as a means of social interaction. Meetings are important when members are involved in complex projects with multiple deadlines and sets of objectives. The project meeting is an essential tool for keeping projects and project team members – on track. The need for meetings typically increases as the number of teams and team-based projects increases.

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 Multiple intelligences theory of  Howard Gardner's 

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