Module 16: Planning, Managing, and Recording Meetings
March 7 2012
What planning should Precede a meeting?
- Identify your purpose(s) & create an agenda.
Identify your purpose
o To share information
o Brainstorm ideas
o To evaluate ideas
o To make decisions
o To create a document
o To motivate members.
- When meetings combined two or more purposes, it’s important to make the purposes explicit.
- Telling participants how their input will be used clarifies expectations and focuses the conversation.
- The company uses 4 different decision-making processes:
Authoritative (the leader makes the decision alone)
Consultative (The leader hears group comments but then makes the decisions alone)
Voting (the majority wins)
Consensual (discussion continues until everyone can “buy into” the decision)
Create an Agenda
- Once you’ve identified your purposes, think about how you can make them happen.
- Be explicit in your expectations: ask people to read materials in advance, or to bring drafts to the meeting so
that collaborative writing can go more quickly.
- Team meanings called on short notice agendas can be informal, simply listing the topics or goals.
- A good agenda answers 5 questions:
o Where and when: Time and place of the meeting.
o What: Agenda items
o Why: each item flagged for purpose – information, discussion or decision
o Who: Participants and individuals sponsoring or introducing each item
o How: meeting duration and time allotted for each item.
- Many groups put routine items first because getting agreement will be easy.
- Schedule controversial items early in the meeting, when people’s energy levels are high and to allow enough
time for full discussion.
- The best meetings encourage participation, creativity and fun.
- Activities are vital to participant’s perceptions of the value of the meeting.
- Allow for short breaks at least every 2hours, and generous breaks twice a day so participants can chat
informally. When I’m in charge, how Do I keep the meeting on track?
- Pay attention both to task and to process.
- Your goal as chair is to clarify the meeting’s significance and goals, and help participants deal with agenda items
timely and adequately.
- When people are new to the group, make the ground rules explicit.
o Might cover whether it is acceptable to check email, send messages, or answer cell phone during the
meeting, and whether people must stay for the whole meeting, or may drop in and out.
o Introduce newcomers, and each person as he or she covers an agenda item.
o Use positive reinforcements – seeking options, giving information, summarizing, evaluating and
coordinating – to remind the group of its process.
o Acknowledge and negotiate conflict: shape the discussion or summarize issues when the issues are
complex, or when members have major disagreements.
o If the issue is contentious, ask speakers for and against a recommendation to alternate. If no one
remains on one side, you can stop the discussion.
o Pay attention to people and process.
o If conflict escalates, focus on ways the group could deal with the conflict, before getting back to the
o If the group doesn’t formally vote, summarize the group consensus after each point so that everyone
knows what the decision is, who is responsible for implementing or following up and when.
What Decision-Making Strategies work well in Meetings?
- Try the standard agenda or dot planning.
- The least effective decision-making strategy