Take the ‘in’ out of ineffective

Ten steps to running a successful meeting, and seven areas to avoid.

Ten steps that make effective meeting groups

  1. There is plenty of discussion but it’s mainly on the point. If discussion strays, someone brings it back quickly – not necessarily the chair or leader.
  2. The members understand their task clearly. They may have had to spend some time working this out but then they are committed to it.
  3. The members actively listen to each other. They don’t just keep silent. They give each idea a fair hearing
    and don’t jump onto unrelated ideas.
  4. The group does not evade disagreement. When there is a disagreement, or problem, the group uses its energy to focus on the problem, not the person.
  5. Members are encouraged to reveal their opposition and not ‘bottle it up’ till after the meeting – a common fault in a weak group.
  6. There is no personal attack either openly or by veiled suggestion. Members are inclined to give positive respect and recognition. They focus
    on overcoming obstacles.
  7. The leader does not dominate. ‘Leadership’ shifts from time to time. The group uses different leaders for their specific abilities.
  8. There is little evidence of power struggles and no posturing or point scoring. Control is not an issue – it’s the job and the sense of teamwork which is important.
  9. The members are conscious about their effectiveness as a team. They are very aware of their clients and are not self-serving as a group.
  10. The group is capable of analysing a weakness in its performance and ‘fixing it fast’.

… and seven that lead to ruin

  1. Allowing one or two people to dominate discussion.
  2. No one making an effort to keep discussions on track.
  3. The members not seeming to understand their common purpose.
  4. People ignoring other ideas while they prepare their own submission.
  5. A lack of focus on the issue means the conversation strays off the topic.
  6. Allowing disagreements to become personal attacks, leading to a breakdown in unity of purpose.
  7. Allowing only a simple majority vote, which can mean a substantial number may be dissatisfied.

Meeting forecast

A pleasant atmosphere with no sign of personal tensions on the horizon.

Synopsis

After careful study of the chart and formula supplied, members have identified long periods of increased activity associated with the absence of pressure and internal storms.

Decision-makers will be cool and alert, with winds of change bringing enthusiasm, order and respect.

Rest of state

Heated arguments and heavy falls in effectiveness will be confined to less-informed organisations.