* What determines meeting to become successful?
First of all, consider whether the meeting is really necessary. To have a meeting just for the sake of it is a waste of time and resource. Could the business in hand be dealt with by a telephone call, an exchange of e-mails, an audio conferencing call or a video conference or could it simply wait until the next scheduled meeting? Make sure that everyone has the agenda, minutes of the previous meeting, and all the necessary supporting papers in good time for them to be read, considered, and consulted upon. Provide a suitable room and ambience. Everyone should be able to sit in comfort and see each other. The room should be well-lit and well-ventilated. There may be a need for a flip chart and felt-tip pens or an overhead projector or a laptop for a PowerPoint presentation. If it is appropriate, flowers or fruit or candles may provide a pleasant atmosphere. The opening of a meeting is important. It helps if the chair briefly sets the scene and indicates the purpose or aims of the meeting. Some organizations like to open meetings with a few moments of stillness or contemplation, so that everyone mentally puts everything else to one side and focuses on the meeting and what they want out of it. Each agenda item should have an appropriate time allocation, reflecting the importance of the item and the amount of discussion anticipated. The very best meetings generate new and exciting ideas. This is most likely to be achieved if everyone is allowed to express a view and not cut off or put down as soon as they appear to challenge the conventional wisdom or organizational orthodoxy, if everyone is encouraged to put forward suggestions even if at first they seem novel or counter-cultural, and if everyone really listens to what is being said and judges ideas on their merits and not on the basis of who put them forward. The conclusion of a meeting is important. The chair should summarize what has been achieved or...
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