1 Ineffective Meetings
Have you ever attended a meeting where;
・The agenda or purpose was unclear ?
・Material was distributed on the spot and attendants were expected to read and comment on this before the meeting closed ?
・Plans of senior officials were proposed and attendants simply approved them without making any meaningful comments ?
・Disorganized discussion prevented a conclusion from being reached ?
・A lot of time was wasted on explaining information that was written in the material provided ?
・No fresh ideas were put forward ? It was a regular meeting where the same people attended each time.
・Certain people were absent and no conclusion could be reached until they had been consulted ?
・Certain attendants were not punctual and everyone else had to kill time until they arrived ?
・In the end, no one was clear as to whether or not a decision had been reached ?
・Minutes were not recorded making it difficult to determine who said what after the meeting had closed ?
If meetings like this continue to take place staff are likely to lose all sense of seriousness regarding meetings at all. Under the circumstances, holding a meeting over this might prove in itself to be counterproductive.
2 Effective Meetings
The parties concerned must take care of the following points.
(1) The sponsor
The first thing a sponsor must do is judge whether or not there is really a need to hold the meeting to start off with. If the purpose of the meeting is decision making, it might perhaps be more appropriate to have the decision made by top management. If the purpose is to convey information, distributing documents on the subject might be more effective than verbal communication. A meeting should only be held when there is a solid agenda to be discussed and a meeting would be more effective and efficient than any other means.
Meetings may be held for various reasons such as decision making, the distribution of information or for review and discussion. The sponsor should, from the outset, be very clear as to the purpose of the meeting being held.