Make policy Take decisions Agree priorities Ensure probity Co-ordinate Build morale Engage people Framework for risk Consult Influence challenge Review performance Solve problems Exchange information Update Express grievances Explore issues Why have meetings?
Effective Meetings Using your experience of meetings, discuss what factors, behaviour and attitudes make meetings: • Effective? • Ineffective?
Planning for Meetings • Define objective • Scope of discussion? • Information needs of Members • Members’ experience • What questions might be asked? • Controversial? • Conclusions and follow-up • Time limits?
Read papers and annotate I = Point of interest II = Point of importance III = Point of vital importance X = I disagree with this! / = I agree with this ? = I don’t understand this/have doubts
Planning an informal meeting • Objective • Date/time/length • Who should attend? Do they have commitment; time; diversity of view; open-mind? • Agenda
Accommodation • Support • Evaluation
Running the Meeting Three key elements: • Structure • How the meeting runs • How Members interact
Structure • Develop agenda • State the objectives • Develop ground rules • Assign roles • Use techniques • Manage time
How the meeting runs • Arrive early • Welcome everyone, including the public • Remind members of protocols/groundrules • Initiate discussion • Listen • Keep members to the topic • Reject irrelevancies
Draw out information • Compare and contrast differing views • Clarify misunderstandings • Preserve order • Correct mistakes and rule on disputed matters • Summarise views and conclusions • Test agreement • Draw up an action plan
How Members Interact • Provide a role model • Encourage participation • Monitor participation • Encourage supportive behaviour • Encourage differing views and confronting • Help resolve conflict • Explore feelings and reactions
Promote ownership of decisions • Encourage feedback
The Problems with Meetings • Procedural Difficulties • Confusion over what has been decided • Avoidance of decisions • Meetings wander from the point • Hidden agendas • No opportunity to participate • Meetings last too long
Problems • Too many meetings • Too much paperwork or information • Poor preparation by members
Problems with Meetings Disruptive Behaviour
Handling conflict • What causes conflict?
Handling conflict • Clarify objectives • Promote understanding • Focus on the rational • Generate alternatives • Defer the issue • Use humour
Handling conflict • Involve everyone • Allow time to think • Take a break • Refer to sub-committee • Allow strong feelings to be expressed • Protect from early closure
Ground Rules for Informal Meetings • Start and end on time • Chair is empowered to enforce ground rules • Respect confidentiality • Everyone is encouraged to participate • No-one dominates • Be courteous • Don’t interrupt
Respect the ideas of others • Everyone has something of value to offer • Be sensitive to others and their feelings • Build on ideas • Challenge the idea not the person • Remain open-minded and non-judgmental • Complaints are ok when they come packaged with a solution • Compromise where necessary
Stimulating discussion • Encourage by questions • Invite to contribute • Seek ideas, opinions and feelings • Seek clarification • Seek examples • Explore ideas • Test for support
Stimulating discussion • Suggest a procedure • Question assumptions • Confront differing views/opinions • Be supportive • Share your feelings • Reflect what you think someone is feeling • Paraphrase what others appear to be saying
How groups behave • Forming • Storming • Norming • Performing