Chapter 15


When the outcome of a meeting is to have another meeting,
it has been a lousy meeting.

Herbert Hoover

The purpose of a meeting can be to communicate information, interact to resolve problems and challenges or to plan and discuss strategy.

The first aspect of meetings is the physical arrangements. The appropriateness of the venue and its convenience. The requisite amount of light, comfortable temperature, sound insulation to prevent disturbances.

A face to face configuration over a U shaped or round table is best.

The purpose and goals of the meeting should be spelt out clearly. The agenda should be sent out well in time to enable the participants to schedule their time and prepare for the meeting.

The right persons should be invited to the meeting. There should be a chairperson for the meeting who should ensure that all attendees get an opportunity to participate. The chairperson should restrain those who try to dominate, and encourage the participation of those who are quiet or shy to share their views. The chairperson should ensure that the discussions are relevant and to the point.

The chairperson should also ensure that the meeting begins and ends on time.

The chairperson should also be sensitive to the dynamics of the interpersonal relationships of the participants and not allow personal agendas to take over.

The chairperson should ensure the focus of the deliberations is on the purpose of the meeting.

Someone should be nominated to record the minutes of the meeting that summarizes the discussions, and the outcomes and the action steps of various individuals. This should be circulated to all concerned, even if they did not attend the meeting and the issues are relevant to them.

Finally the most important aspect is that if you are the chair person is that you should ensure that the follow up action is clearly spelt out. This is the one and only way to ensure that the objectives of the meeting are met and that the meeting was not an exercise in futility as is the case sometimes with meetings.

Meeting should be well

planned and managed, in

order to optimize the

outcome of the meeting.