Monday, December 04, 2006

Leadership and communication chapter 7:Leading Productive Management Meetings

Chapter 7: Leading Productive Management Meetings

Deciding when a meeting is the best forum
Communication purpose and strategy should come first in planning meetings, as in all communication situations. You need to define a clear purpose and analyze your audience to determine whether a meeting is the best forum for what you want to accomplish.

Compleating the essential planning
- Clarifying purpose and expected outcome
- Determining topics for the agenda. In determining the agenda topics and the meeting tasks, you will want to estimate the time it will take to cover each topic or, more important, to accomplish each objective.
- Selecting Attendees—selecting the right attendees is important to the success of a meeting.
- Considering the setting—the setting considerations should include location, equipment, and layout of the room.
- Determining when to meet—to accomplish your goals, you want people when they are at their best.
- Establishing needed meeting information

Conducting a productive meeting
- Deciding on the decision-making approach
- Clarifying leader and attendee roles and responsibilities
- Establishing meeting ground rules
- Using common problem-solving approaches. Common analytical tools that work well in many different types of problem-solving meeting are as follows: 1)Brainsorming—generate an exhausive list of ideas quickly, 2) Ranking or rating—performed with an existing set of ideas, 3) Sorting by category or logical groups, 4) Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats—encourage open and complete thinking about a problem by seperating ego from performance, 5) Opposition Analysis—requires the group to look at both sides of an issue, 6) Decision tree—help break down a problem into its parts, 7) From/to Analysis—is particularly useful in diagnosing change situations, 8) Force-field Analysis—explore the problems and determine approaches to facilitate change in an organization, 9) The Metrix—allows group to evaluate or diagnose problems and the difficulties of making changes and can help a group decide on an approach, 10) Frameworks—exists for just about everything an organization might want to analyze.

Managing meeting problems and conflict The primary responsibilities of a meeting leader are to plan the meeting, provide the content, anticipate problems, and ensure process facilitation. Facilitators help to keep the meeting focused on the objectives and ensure redirection if it gets off track. Skilled facilitators should be prepared to 1) handle some of the most common meeting problems, 2) manage meeting conflict, and 3) deal with issues arising from cultural differences.

Ensuring meeting lead to action A good meeting planner can overcome an inertia by performing four steps : 1) Assign specific tasks to specific people, 2) Review all actions and responsibilities at the end of the meeting, 3) Provide a meeting summary with assigned deliverables included, and 4) Follow up on action items in a reasonable time.

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