EFFECTIVE MEETINGS FOR MANAGERS
ILM Level 3 Certificate in First Line Management
From: Maryline Guinard
Effective meetings for managers
PURPOSE OF AN AGENDA
The purpose of an agenda is to communicate important information such as topics for discussion, presenter or discussion leader for each topic, and time allotment for each topic. The purpose of an agenda is also to provide an outline for the meeting (how long to spend on which topics) and a focus for the meeting (the objective of the meeting must be clearly stated in the agenda). The agenda can be used as a checklist to ensure that all information is covered. It lets participants know what will be discussed if it's distributed before the meeting. This gives them an opportunity to come to the meeting prepared for the upcoming discussions or decisions.
HOW TO PREPARE PRIOR TO A MEETING
I send an e-mail stating there will be a meeting, the goal of the meeting as well as the administrative details such as when and where it will be. I ask those invited to accept or decline the meeting. I make it clear that once they have accepted the meeting, they are expected to attend.
I ask participants requesting an agenda item to contact me no less than two days before the meeting with their request and the amount of time they will need to present it.
Once all of the agenda requests have been submitted to me, I summarise them in a table format with the headings Agenda Item, Presenter and Time. It's my responsibility to ensure that each agenda item is directly related to the goals of this particular meeting. If a non relevant request is made, I suggest to that person to send an e-mail or memo instead or recommend that this/her agenda item shall be discussed in another meeting. Also, I make sure I allocate a realistic amount of time to each presenter. I schedule 50 minutes of discussion into an hour time slot.
I send the agenda to all the meeting participants the day before the meeting with a reminder of the meeting goals, location, time and duration. At this time, I ask the presenters if they are happy with the order in which they will be speaking and the amount of time they have been allocated.
ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE CHAIRPERSON, SECRETARY AND INDIVIDUALS
Role and responsibilities of the chairperson:
In a meeting, the chairperson will outline the purpose of the meeting and remind members why they are there. The chairperson controls the meeting. All remarks are addressed through the chair. The chairperson makes sure that the members of the meeting do not interrupt each other. The chairperson follows the agenda during the meeting.
When discussion is underway, it is the chairperson's responsibility to ensure that it continues to flow smoothly by involving all members present and by not permitting one or two people to dominate the meeting.
During a meeting, the chairperson has to indicate progress, or lack of progress; refocus discussion that has wandered off the point; conclude one point and lead into the next; highlight important points; assist the secretary if necessary; clarify any misunderstanding.
The chairperson should pace the meeting, ensuring it runs to time.
At the end of a meeting, the chairperson should remind members what they have achieved and thank them for their contributions.
Finally, the time and date of the next meeting should be arranged, if a follow up meeting is required.
Role and responsibilities of the secretary:
It's the secretary's responsibility to schedule meetings, make sure that accurate minutes are kept and follow up with participants afterward, as needed.
A secretary's duties related to meetings actually have three phases: planning, tasks to do during the meeting and follow-up.
Prior to a meeting, the secretary has to plan the meeting. Under the direction of the chairperson, the secretary sends out notice of the meeting to all...
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