How to run a meeting Instructions:
Students are required to choose at least two of the “Suggested Additional Readings” and submit short reviews, no more than 400 words (less than two double-spaced pages). The reviews should not be mere summaries of the article, but should focus on the personal and professional learnings or “take-aways” that the student gains.
Submit as a double spaced attachment in MS Word format
How to run a meeting.
There are some main points expressed in this article regarding how to run a meeting. The author first begins by revealing the fact that most meetings are entirely unnecessary, and the issues at hand can better be solved through phone calls, memos, letters, or simple conversations between two people. However, the author states that meetings seem to fulfill a profound human need and hence, cannot be avoided since man is a social being. There are some functions of meetings mentioned: definition of the unit, team, or group; revision, updating ad addition of the core element of a group; helping every individual comprehend both the way in which their own work ca contribute to the collective’s success and the general aim of the group; creation in all present a commitment to the various decisions made and the objectives pursued; enforcing the perception of the manager, supervisor or executive as the leader of the team instead of just an official to whom subordinates report; and, acting as a status arena.
However, just because these are the primarily identified functions of meetings, there is no guarantee that meetings will achieve these functions in any situation. It is entirely possible for meetings to be not only a waste of time, but also irritants or barriers to the achievements of the organization’s objectives. Therefore to identify the things that go wrong in meetings and how to mitigate them, one shall have to understand the different types of meetings. Meetings can be graded by:
- Size: assembly, with 100 or more people; council, with 40 or 50 people; and, committee, with a maximum of 12 people.
- Frequency: may be daily, weekly, monthly or even annually.
- Composition: if members work together on the same project; if they work on different but parallel tasks; or if they are completely diverse
- Decision process
As for the various steps to make when approaching a meeting, one has to ensure that before the meeting, they: define the objective; make preparations; set the right number of attendants; and, draw up an agenda. As for the role of the chairperson, it should be limited to that of a facilitator. A chair should ensure to make as little interventions as possible, so as to give a chance to the group to contribute. When it comes to the meeting subject, the chairperson should ensure that the meeting should stay true to the objective and further ensure that all members both comprehend the issue and why they are discussing it. When dealing with people, the following should be observed, particularly by the chairperson/facilitator; controlling of the garrulous; drawing out the silent; encouraging the clashing of ideas; addressing the most senior people last; and, closing on a note of achievement.
The main takeaway from the article is that the leader/chairperson of the meeting has a vital role to ensure the success and smooth flow of the meeting. (Jay, 1976).
Jay, A. (1976, March – April). How to run a meeting. 43 – 57.