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Australis Institute of Technology Education BSBADM502 MANAGE MEETING Diploma of Business ABN: 17 120 701 911 RTO Provider ID: 91630 and CRICOS ID: 03173K Disclaimer These training resources were prepared for use in conjunction with a formal training program of Australis Institute. All the information and images used in workbook is referenced as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968.Used less than 10% of the reference material. This workbook is for education purpose only. No person should rely on the contents of this workbook without first obtaining advice from a qualified professional person. This workbook is distributed on the terms and understanding that: Trainers who compiled the information, industry consultant, project manager and the college are not responsible for the results of any actions taken on the basis of information neither in this workbook, nor for any errors in or omission from these resources. 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Please note the review date below before reading .First editionCompiled on Sep 2010. Project Manager: Noby Joseph Project Leader:Compiled and organised Claudia Vieira Project Team: (Claudia Vieira, Vishu Arora) Review dates March 2015 V.3.0 Contents Element 1 09 Element 2 33 Element 3 73 UNIT DESCRIPTOR This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to manage a range of meetings including overseeing the meeting preparation processes, chairing meetings, organizing the minutes and reporting meeting outcomes. ELEMENTS AND PERFORMANCE CRITERIA ELEMENT PERFORMANCE CRITERIA 1. Prepare for meetings 1.1. Develop agenda in line with stated meeting purpose 1.2. Ensure style and structure of meeting are appropriate to its purpose 1.3. Identify meeting participants and notify them in accordance with organizational procedures 1.4. Confirm meeting arrangements in accordance with requirements of meeting 1.5. Despatch meeting papers to participants within designated time lines 2. Conduct meetings 2.1. Chair meetings in accordance with organizational requirements, agreed conventions for type of meeting and legal and ethical requirements 2.2. Conduct meetings to ensure they are focused, time efficient and achieve outcomes 2.3. Ensure meeting facilitation enables participation, discussion, problem-solving and resolution of issues 2.4. Brief minute taker on method for recording meeting notes in accordance with organizational requirements and conventions for type of meeting 3. Follow up meetings 3.1. Check transcribed meeting notes to ensure they reflect a true and accurate record of the meeting, and are formatted in accordance with organizational procedures and meeting conventions 3.2. Distribute and store minutes and other follow-up documentation within designated time lines, and according to organizational requirements 3.3. Report outcomes of meetings as required, within designated time lines REQUIRED SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE Required skills communication skills to: participate in sustained complex interpersonal exchanges and to interact with others listen to, incorporate and encourage feedback conduct oral presentations to a group, to consult participants and to answer questions manage and work with a group to construct an action plan chair meetings literacy skills to: categorise and organise information assess information for relevance and accuracy identify and elaborate on key agenda items and source additional information numeracy and time management skills to allow for sufficient meeting preparation Problem-solving skills to choose appropriate solutions from available options. Required knowledge culturally appropriate techniques to communicate with people from diverse backgrounds and people with diverse abilities key provisions of relevant legislation from all forms of government, standards and codes that may affect aspects of business operations, such as: anti-discrimination legislation ethical principles codes of practice privacy laws copyright occupational health and safety formats for minutes and agendas group dynamics meeting terminology, structures, arrangements and responsibilities of chairperson organizational procedures and policies regarding meetings, chairing and minutes KEY TERMS Agendas may include: correspondence date, time and location of meeting date of next meeting general business major agenda items matters or business arising from the minutes minutes of the previous meeting reports statement of the meetings purpose welcome Meeting purpose may include: discussion forum for internal or external clients planning and development of a project progress of a project range of business items setting of enterprise or team goals Meeting arrangements may include: booking an appropriate venue deciding on process for recording of meeting establishing costs and operating within a budget identifying any specific needs of participants organising accommodation and transport organising appropriate communication technology organising catering organising a minute taker preparing relevant documentation for participants scheduling date and time for the meeting Meeting papers may include: agenda chairpersons report correspondence draft documentation financial reports itemised meeting papers notice of meeting previous minutes research reports Designated time lines may include: contractual obligations formal timeframe set by the organisation informal timeframe set by the administrative organiser project time lines statutory requirements (e.g. for annual general meetings) timeframe decided by participants Conventions may include: casting vote for chairperson conflict of interest provisions consensus required informal discussion majority of members to agree moving and seconding formal motions quorum requirements restricting discussion to agenda items speaking through the chairperson time limit on speakers waiting to be recognised by the chairperson voting procedures Legal and ethical requirements may include: codes of practice legislation relating to companies and associations requirements for public meetings Resolution may include: agreeing on a course of action deferring decisions to another meeting Storage of minutes and other documentation may include: authorised access electronic storage in folders, sub-folders, disk drives, CD-ROM, USBs, tape or server back-up file names according to organisational procedure file names which are easily identifiable in relation to the content file and folder names which identify the operator, author, section, date filing locations organisational policy for backing up files organisational policy for filing hard copies of documents security Minutes may include: meeting details (e.g. title, date, time, location) action items agenda items apologies and attendees approval of the record of previous minutes correspondence date of the next meeting formatting from previous minutes lists rather than complete sentences matters arising from the previous meetings names of absent and attending participants organisation templates other business reports welcome ELEMENT 1 PREPARE FOR MEETING Prepare for Meetings Not all meetings are the same; planning an effective and productive meeting requires you to have an understanding of the intended purpose and outcomes. This section introduces you to various types of meetings, and how to plan appropriately for each type. You will learn about requirements that will apply to most meetings, and those requirements that are only needed in specific situations. This section also introduces you to effective delegation, an important skill in a busy working environment. Scenario: Action Wear Pty Ltd Action Wear manufacturers sports clothing and footwear. They have multiple sites around Australia, including Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide. The board meets every three months to discuss and review the organisations business plan and performance. There are 12 board members, located in various cities across Australia, who are required to attend these quarterly board meetings held in Sydney. Michael is the Office Manager for the Sydney office and is responsible for making the arrangements for these quarterly board meetings. Michael has a team of two administration assistants that he delegates some of the planning and preparation activities to. Ultimately, however, Michael is responsible for ensuring the meeting is organised as required and so he must ensure he is aware of all of the arrangements that are made by his team. Michael develops and implements an action plan to assist him with identifying and managing all of the tasks that are required to be completed to ensure the Board meetings are arranged correctly. What skills will you need? In order to work effectively as a senior administrator, you must be able to: develop agendas in line with stated meeting purpose ensure style and structure of meeting are appropriate to its purpose identify meeting participants and notify them in accordance with organisational procedures confirm meeting arrangements in accordance with requirements of meeting dispatch meeting papers to participants within designated timelines Introduction Managing meetings includes preparing for meetings. As a senior administrator or manager this will often involve you overseeing that the appropriate arrangements have been made. While you may be overseeing many of the preparation activities as a senior administrator or manager you are ultimately responsible for ensuring that the meeting is organised as per requirements. The key activities Involved when preparing for a meeting are: identifying meeting requirements developing an agenda that is aligned to the purpose of the meeting identifying the appropriate format for the meeting ensuring meeting arrangements are made identifying participants and notifying them of the meeting distributing meeting papers Identify meeting requirements The first step in preparing for meetings is identifying the meeting requirements. The meeting requirements provide you with valuable information regarding the purpose of the meeting, the agenda and format of the meeting. Meeting requirements include information such as: date time duration meeting purpose budget meeting host or chair person meeting speakers agenda participants (internal and external) special needs of participants location preferences Seating arrangements theatre style, table and chairs, etc. pre-reading materials for attendees documentation requirements for the meeting equipment required for the meeting, e.g. video/data projector, microphone, whiteboard teleconferencing or videoconferencing requirements and equipment catering A requirements questionnaire can be a useful tool for determining meeting requirements. You can provide the questionnaire to the person who has requested that you arrange the meeting to obtain all of the information that you require to make the meeting arrangements. Alternatively if you are arranging a meeting for yourself you can complete the questionnaire yourself to ensure you have thought through all the details of your meeting. Develop the meeting agenda The meeting agenda provides information to attendees regarding the purpose of the meeting, when and where the meeting will be held, who is attending and any preparation requirements. The meeting purpose Meetings have many purposes such as: a discussion between internal representatives and external clients completing project planning and development activities discussing the progress of a project setting organisation or team goals discussions regarding a range of business items Share information and improve communication, Understand others and build relationship in the workplace, Share responsibility and team spirit, Solve problems, provide new ideas and make decisions, Diverse and utilise individual and collective skills, Set organisation or team goals, Discuss a range of business items Develop special projects, Develop strategies or operational plan The meeting purpose informs the meeting agenda so it is important that you understand the purpose of the meeting. The meeting agenda Once you understand the purpose of the meeting you can commence developing the meeting agenda. It is essential that your meeting agenda is aligned with the purpose of the meeting. The meeting agenda lists the details of the meeting including the items to be discussed, the order in which they will be discussed, who is responsible for facilitating the discussion, and how much time has been allocated to that discussion point. Agenda items can either be set by the person conducting the meeting or from contributions made by those attending. As meeting organiser you are responsible for drafting the meeting agenda and collecting the agenda items from the appropriate contributors. While you are responsible for compiling the agenda you must ensure that you have the agenda checked and approved by the chairperson prior to distributing the agenda to attendees. A meeting agenda is to provide information to attendees regarding meeting purpose, date and time, venue, list of topics, and any preparation requirements. The function of meeting agenda is to: Outline the meetings purpose and what is to be discussed, Organise the flow of information and the order of discussion, Remind the chair of the business at hand, Keep attendees focus on the matters of business, Remind each speaker of its role and time limit, Help the chair conclude major item and reach resolution, Help the chair maintain time efficiency A typical agenda Includes Items such as: date, time and location of meeting statement of the meetings purpose welcome minutes of the previous meeting major agenda items general business date of next meeting Note: an agenda for an all-day meeting or conference also includes break times. Below is an example of a meeting agenda template: Meeting Agenda Date: Time: Location Dial-in-Information Attendees Dial-in-Attendees Apologies Guests Agenda No. Agenda Item Pre-Read? Presenter Time Duration 1 2 3 4 5 Next meeting: Date: Determine the appropriate meeting format Meetings can be conducted using many different formats. The format includes the structure and style of the meeting and is usually determined by the purpose and requirements of the meeting. For example, if the purpose of the meeting is to provide ail employees with a company update then the format of the meeting is likely to be informal, conducted in a large venue with little interaction between the person conducting the meeting and the participants. By understanding the purpose and requirements of the meeting first it will help you to understand the format of meeting you are required to arrange. It is important that the structure and style of the meeting is appropriate to the purpose of the meeting. There are many different types of meetings that you could be asked to arrange and each of these meetings typically have a different format. Types of meetings include: general meetings, Including: staff team meetings client meetings vendor meetings annual general meeting (AGM) board meetings Conferences public meetings Each of these meetings requires a different format to ensure the effectiveness of the meeting. Formal meetings They are mostly found in the business environment where there are rules, regulations, and procedures to be followed, allowing for a proper structure which will maximise productivity, participation, and overall effectiveness. They are facilitated by universal documents which guide and record the meeting. These are generally necessary for the type of topics covered in formal meetings, and the subsequent actions which are required. The format of a meeting consists of a combination of any of the following steps: Opening of the meeting The Chair makes a statement welcoming participants. Attendance and apologies Names of attendees are recorded. The apologies provide a record of those who have not been in attendance. Minutes of the previous meeting Minutes of the previous meeting are provided for confirmation by the members who were present at that meeting. This record then becomes binding upon the members. Business rising from minutes There may be business arising from the previous minutes, such as action that has not yet been taken, that will need to be dealt with at this point. Correspondence Both incoming and outgoing mail should either be read in full or summarized. The correspondence is then received by the meeting. Business arising from correspondence Information from the correspondence may require a decision to be made or action to be taken. It should be done at this point. Special business This is where debate and discussion takes place on motions that have been placed on the agenda. General business New business or topics not yet covered in the meeting can be introduced here. It is standard procedure that they be subjects, not motions. The members present can discuss the subjects and may decide to include or exclude them from the next meetings agenda. Next meeting The Chair or secretary may propose a date for the next meeting. However, there can be no negotiation if the next meeting is specified by law or the standing orders. Closure of meeting The Chair can end the meeting effectively by summarizing the proceedings. The Chair should then thank everyone for attending, mention any special guests and reiterate the date of the next meeting before closing the meeting. Informal meetings They do not follow a structure, do not require official documentation, and can sometimes be labelled as disorganised. Informal meetings can range from semi-formal to entirely informal. Semi-formal meetings may involve a few rules and common customs, but entirely informal meetings are often spontaneous which therefore lacks any framework or planning. The person who called the meeting is usually the facilitator or chairperson. This person has the difficult task of finding a balance between an informal meeting being too authoritative, and an informal meeting being too unstructured. If it is too controlled, people will become uninterested, but if the meeting is too laid-back, nothing will be achieved. Meeting Type Typical Formats General meeting- Staff team meeting face-to-face/video conference/teleconferences structured agenda with time for general discussion small to medium group discussion informal no catering requirements minutes recorded by attendee chaired by manager or nominated attendee 30 minutes to one hour in length Meeting Type Typical Formats General meeting- client and vendor meeting face-to-face/video conference/teleconference structured agenda with time for general discussion small group discussion or presentation formal confidential catering requirements minute taker often required chaired by meeting organizer 30 minutes to one hour in length. Meeting Type Typical Formats General meeting Annual general meetings(AGM) face-to-face formal style with set agenda chaired by appointed chair person large number of attendees with limited discussion from attendees speakers and presentations no catering requirements minute taker required two to three hours in length Meeting Type Typical Formats General meeting- Board meeting face-to-face formal style with set agenda chaired by appointed chair person medium size group discussion speakers and presentations minute taker required two to three hours in length catering required Meeting Type Typical Formats Conferences face-to-face formal style with set agenda typically hosted rather than an appointed chair person large number of attendees with limited discussion from attendees speakers and presentations break-out areas required for group activities half day to up to five days in length catering and accommodation requirements Meeting Type Typical Formats Public meetings face-to-face formal style with specific agenda to meet legislative requirements of public meetings chaired by appointed chair person large number of attendees with limited discussion from attendees speakers and presentations no catering requirements minute taker required two to three hours in length Make meeting arrangements Once you have identified all of the meeting requirements it is time to arrange the meeting. If one of the requirements cannot be met you must advise the requester as soon as possible to identify alternative arrangements with regards to that particular requirement. Making meeting arrangements involves: scheduling a date and time for the meeting booking an appropriate venue preparing relevant documentation for participants organising equipment organising a minute taker organising catering, accommodation and transport identifying any special needs of participants ensuring arrangements are made within budget When managing meetings you may delegate the arrangements to other employees, however, as the meeting organiser you are responsible for ensuring that the correct arrangements are made. Learning activity: Make meeting arrangements You are the Office Manager at Gourmet Catering Services. You have been asked to arrange a meeting in accordance with the following guidelines. 20 participants internal or external venue four hour meeting U-shape table and chair set up video equipment required no catering required budget of $500 The purpose of the meeting is to provide the marketing team with information regarding the new advertising campaign and show them the new television commercial. A suitable size room does not exist within the organisations building and quotes from external venues range from $650 to $800. What would you do in this situation? What would you recommend to the meeting organiser? Notify participants You should have identified who the participants are when determining the meeting requirements. By determining the meeting requirements as your initial planning and preparation step you should have all of the information you require to notify the required participants of the meeting. Organisations have different procedures with regards to the way in which participants are notified of meetings however in most organisations participants are notified of meetings by a meeting invitation. Other organisational procedures regarding notifying participants Include: The amount of time required between the notice and the meeting: For example, at least one weeks notice is required. The amount of time between accepting or declining the invitation and when the actual meeting is scheduled to take place: For example, invitations must be responded to at least three days prior to the scheduled meeting time. The method for sending invitations: For example, all invitations must be sent and accepted or declined using computer application calendar functions. The format of the invitation: For example, company Invitation template must be used. Meeting Invitations Meeting invitations can be sent using various formats, including: computer application calendar invitation email invitation hard copy invitation The type of invitation used will depend on the type of meeting and the participants you are inviting to attend. Examples of the different types of invitations and their use can be seen in the table below. Invitation Type Participant Meeting Type Outlook calendar invitation Internal participants Internal Participants Staff team meetings Client meetings Vendor meetings Board meetings Conferences Email Invitation External participants Client meetings Vendor meetings Board meetings Hard copy invitation Internal participants External participants Annual General Meeting (AGM) Conferences Public meetings The invitation should include: start time end time date location RSVP date if applicable who is attending purpose of meeting agenda pre-reading requirements travel and accommodation details, If applicable teleconference details, if applicable In some cases the agenda and pre-reading documents may not be finalised at the time the meeting invitation is being sent. In this situation you can make a note in the meeting invitation that the agenda and required pre-reading will follow at a later time. Distribute meeting papers Many meetings require documents to be distributed either before the meeting as pre-reading or during the meeting as reference materials. Meeting papers include documents such as: copies of presentations minutes of previous meetings financial reports company or committee reports documents for review/discussion workbooks questionnaires/surveys statistics proposals press releases charts marketing or sales plans When managing meetings you are responsible for preparing and distributing meeting documentation. You should ensure that you allow for plenty of time to prepare documents to ensure that documents are distributed within required timeframes. Timeframes you must be aware of are: timeframes agreed to by participants formal timeframes set by your organisation informal timeframes set by the meeting organizer project timelines contractual obligations with external organisations such as clients statutory requirements such as for annual general meetings (AGM) Distributing meeting papers There are numerous ways in which you can distribute meeting documents. You could: distribute as hard copies at the meeting send as hard copies prior to the meeting send as soft copies prior to the meeting send with the invitation send with the agenda to only those who have accepted the invitation During the planning phase of the meeting, when you are identifying the requirements of the meeting, you need ascertain how the person who has called the meeting would like the meeting documents distributed. If you are required to distribute hard copies of documents you should always ensure you have extra copies in case an attendee misplaces their copy or an unexpected attendee arrives for the meeting. Delegate preparation activities When managing meetings you are responsible for preparing for the meeting. As previously discussed, this includes: identifying meeting requirements developing an agenda that is aligned to the meeting purpose identifying the appropriate format for the meeting ensuring meeting arrangements are made identifying participants and notifying them of the meeting distributing meeting papers As a senior administrator or manager you often wont complete each of the tasks involved yourself as it is more appropriate for some of these tasks to be completed by more junior administration staff. Having well developed delegation skills is very important when managing meetings to ensure that all meeting preparation tasks are completed and that you have made the best use of your time and skills. Effective delegation skills No manager is an island Even though others may have a different approach or standards, youre setting yourself up to fall if you think you have to do everything yourself. Accept that in a busy work environment there is a shared responsibility for getting things done. Its not all down to you. Delegate, dont abdicate Remember if things go wrong; its ultimately your responsibility. Assess the risk of failure before you decide to delegate a task, and manage any risk appropriately. The only person you can hold responsible for delegating the task at the beginning is you. Crystal clear tasks If you cant define the task to be delegated, it isnt ready for delegation. Good tasks to delegate are; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound. or in other words SMART. Fuzzy, vaguely defined tasks are impossible to complete or result in such a mess that you will have squandered more time than you could potentially have saved. Part of the art of effective delegation is creating SMART tasks for others, and communicating them clearly. Tools to do the job A sledgehammer is not the right tool to choose for cracking nuts. In effective delegation, its important you select the right person to do the task, In other words, the right tool for the job. Some people might be able to do a job quickly and easily, that will take others a bit of direction arid coaching. As you decide who should undertake the task, make an assessment of their skill and motivation, then change your approach accordingly. I say tomayto’, you say tomaato You know what you want to delegate, and to whom, now its time to communicate what needs to be done. Theres no guarantee that the person you are delegating to will interpret what you say to in the same way as you would. Take some time to check understanding of the delegated task, including details such as how to get from A to B, resources required, checkpoints and deadlines. Give them enough rope There is a spectrum of freedom you can allow in the decision-making process that you need to consider before, and during, the delegation process. This can vary from give me the information and Ill decide through to you decide and do it, no need to check back with me. Again your approach depends on the risk of failure, your understanding of the persons capabilities, and how much time they can afford to spend on the task. How was it for you? Effective delegation is about sharing workload, with the added bonus of developing skills and responsibility in others: Maximise the learning experience by taking time for shared reflection of the task once its completed -what worked, what didnt work and what would you do differently next time? Often the learning is two-way, with you gaining insight into your delegation skills. These seven tips for effective delegation will help you achieve a work/life balance, and become more productive while lessening your own workload. Learning activity: Delegation Describe a time when a task was delegated to you. What did your manager do well and what could have been done better? What was done well? What could have been done better? Use action plans When managing the tasks associated with preparing for meetings you may feel like you are performing a juggling act. You may be managing the completion of numerous tasks, being completed by different people for different meetings. Using action plans can assist you in making sure you can keep track of all the required tasks, who is completing them and when they need to be completed by. Action plans detail all the tasks that are to be completed, who is responsible for completing the task and when the task is due to be completed by. Below is an example of an action plan. Meeting Preparation Action Plan Meeting name: NSW Sales Team Meeting Date 12 December 201X Chairperson/Host Thomas Hooper Action required By who By when Develop agenda Jessica Walker 3 December 201X Send meeting notification Jessica Walker 5 December 201X Book meeting venue Lincoln McConnell 3 December 201X Organise catering Jack Barra 7 December 201X Prepare meeting document packs Sienna Clarke 10 December 201X Ensure style and structure of meeting are appropriate to its purpose, ensure meeting arrangements are made in accordance with requirements of meeting and identify meeting participants and notify them in accordance with organisational procedures Meeting styles and structure will vary, as already considered, according to the formality and according to the purpose of the meeting. Meetings can be, for instance, held to: give information/ instructions to attendees exchange or gather facts, opinions and other information develop new concepts or ways of doing things by encouraging employee input plan what needs to be done, who will do it and where, and when and how it Will be done report on unusual or unexpected work situation acknowledge and recognise the good work of work teams or individuals provide information about policies and procedures introduce change ideas and consult with employees report on OHS statistics provide updates on legislation that affects workers and the workplace report on community projects in which the company is involved develop budgets and forecasts for the upcoming financial year establish and clarify performance needs for the day/ week/ month reinforce safety requirements and procedures review performance improve performance monitor progress pass on new information, e.g. changes to safety legislation or requirements motivate and enthuse people enable managers to mobilise support or resources and break down hierarchical barriers address issues related to process faults or system inadequacies introduce new continuous improvement strategies and measures vote, either by show of hands or formal ballot, on issu.es and concerns The style and structure of the meeting will be , therefore, dependent on its purpose and on the number of participants, any special needs of participants, the availability of resources and equipment required (e.g. videos, audio equipment, PowerPoint slides, teleconferencing or videoconferencing equipment etc.) the time of day when the meeting will be held: All of these things will impact on meeting protocols and procedures. Steps to ensuring appropriate meeting protocol include: Make a list of all the people who will be expected to attend. Meeting structures Formal meeting structures have already been covered. Obviously a morning tool box meeting will be fairly informal, as it is intended only to initiate the dally shift and to discuss work targets for the day; A meeting to develop business plans and ask for employee Input into plans will be more formal. In some instances, employees might have been asked to complete surveys or to provide ideas and input prior to the meeting. This could be summed up and discussed at a formal meeting. An address to the company by the CEO will also be formal, and might be structured so that information is passed on but attendees do not necessarily have active input or participate in discussion. Other meetings might involve managers or section heads summarising productivity figures and outputs for discussion and evaluation by the management group/ team. Each of these meetings will have a different structure, style and degree of input from attendees. Arrangements Once the requirements and intended structure of the meeting have been decided upon, the venue and physical arrangements must be considered and, if necessary, appropriate bookings made. This could involve: booking a room organising whiteboards, markers, wipers etc. organising technical (microphones, other sound equipment) or electronic equipment (television, video, data projector, teleconferencing equipment, computers) Setting arrangements The purpose and function of different types of seating are: Round table problem solving A circular seating arrangement fosters a feeling of contribution, which is vital for a problem solving meeting. There is a high level of interaction and equality between members, and better control and participation by the chairperson. U-shaped table training This configuration promotes maximum participation by the members, and allows the chairperson to move freely throughout the group and even work one-on-one if necessary. The openness of this formation allows the chairperson and training aids visible to everyone during training presentations. Rectangle table decision making This rectangular seating arrangement allows interaction among participants. The chairperson will need to be aware of peoples personalities and anticipate who will most possibly initiate arguments, position these people evenly throughout the formation instead of next to each other. The chairperson stays in control of the discussion. All equipment should be checked and tested prior to the meeting to ensure that time will not be wasted by trying to work out how the equipment operates or dealing with equipment that does not work properly. It might be necessary to check and rearrange the layout of the room (Will the participants require theatre style seating, desks or a boardroom table?), organise for refreshments to be served at a certain time or ensure that coffee/ tea or cool drink dispensers can be set up prior to the meeting. It might be necessary to make arrangements for someone to clean up after the meeting. Determine where and how the chairperson and minute taker will be seated. Will they require laptops, note paper etc.? Other things to consider include: Will handouts be given to participants and how should this be managed? If it is likely that a voting process will be required, how will the votes be collected and collated? Will it be necessary to have a facilitator, particularly if the meeting participants will be asked to break into discussion groups? Will meeting participants need some form of identification eg name tags? Make sure you are able to supply all necessary items such as pens, paper, butchers paper etc. Ensure that the venue is booked for the correct time and that there is access to it prior to the start of the meeting so that preparations can be properly made. Attendees should be notified of the venue and given explicit directions if the venue is unknown to them. If the meeting is to be conducted using electronic media, the rooms from which the meeting will be convened and managed, and in which the equipment will be set up should be clearly designated. The convener should check that all participants, that is, those who are expected to participant from other sites or venues, are able to access the equipment at the necessary time/s. Check the layout of the room. If your purpose is to encourage participation, then it is better to organise the layout in a circular fashion. If information is being presented, with an expectation of minimal participation, the presenter can be placed at the front of the room with everybody facing them. Time and comfort The adult human mind literally has a maximum attention span of 1 hour and 5 minutes. After this time people tend to lose focus their thoughts will more and more frequently drift to other matters and much of the import of the meeting can be lost. Thus, much of the impact will be reduced. Decision-making ability will decrease and the importance of issues might be lost due to boredom, frustration and eagerness to get on with other tasks. Meetings, therefore, should not be long and boring. They should be well structured and managed so that they meet the agenda requirements without creating situations where people simply lose interest and start worrying about the work they are not getting done. If, for some reason, a meeting must go on for longer than 1 hour, then a 10 minute break should be taken every hour. Meetings will also need to fit within organisational time schedules. That is, they should be arranged so that minimal disruption to work will occur. Thus, they should be organised at times that suit the personnel who are expected to attend without having a detrimental effect on production. Participants need to be comfortable to have appropriate seating, space and desks or tables on which they can rest papers, laptops or notepads and pens. They should not, however, be so comfortable that they drift off. As already considered, seating arrangements should make the best use of space and of any presentations, That is, participants should not be crowded and should all have a clear view of any presentations or presenters. The room should be at a comfortable temperature. If partisans are too hot or too cold they will have difficulty concentrating. If the meeting is likely to last for longer than an hour refreshments of some sort should be provided, Making a coffee or even sipping water or eating a biscuit can help to refocus the mind on the meeting matters. Agendas An agenda is normally 1 page with the topics for discussion listed. These could be numbered and should have, as already described, timeframes attached. Agenda items could include: statement of the meetings purpose welcome minutes of the previous meeting matters or business arising from the minutes correspondence reports major agenda items/ presentations (in order of priority) general business/ discussion new ideas confirmation of actionable items date of next meeting-chair and minute taker for next meeting close This agenda is distributed with a notice of when and where the meeting will be held, Prepare any documents that might be needed during the meeting. In some cases, documentation or information will be distributed before the meeting- to allow people to read papers or study statistics etc. and to prepare any questions or information they might wish to add. Documents or papers that could be distributed ahead of time could include: financial reports chairpersons report research reports correspondence committee reports Note: the Student Workbook sections and session numbers are listed next to the topics above. Your facilitator may choose to combine or split sessions. For example, in some cases, this training program may be delivered in two or three sessions, or in others, as many as eight sessions. Recommended reading Some recommended reading for this unit: Swinton, L., Get management skills now. No management experience required, Management for the Rest of Us, viewed March 2010, . Dobson, A., 1996, Managing meetings: How to prepare, how to ta/(e part, how to follow up effectively, How To Books, Plymouth. Munter, M., and Netzley, M., 2002, Guide to meetings, Prentice Hall, New Jersey. ELEMENT 2 CONDUCT MEETING Section 2-Conduct meetings Chair meetings in accordance with organisational requirements, agreed conventions for type of meeting and legal and ethical requirements Conduct meetings to ensure they are focused, time efficient and achieve outcomes Ensure meeting facilitation enables participation, discussion, problem solving and resolution of issues Brief minute taker on method for recording meeting notes in accordance with organisational requirements and conventions for type of meeting What is required to conduct structured meetings to achieve identified goals? Prior to conducting a structured meeting, there are skills and knowledge and issues that need to be remembered, and that the convenor or chairperson of the meeting is familiar with. The chairperson or convenor is responsible for the outcome of any meeting- they should control the direction of the meeting at all times. Issues, skills and knowledge that a convenor or chairperson should know include the following: Policy and Procedures for Meetings Some organisations have Company Policy and Procedure Manuals that contain procedures and policies for a number of activities that take place in the daily running of a business that employees follow when doing certain tasks. Included in this may be a policy and procedure for the organising and conducting of meetings. And within this, there may be a policy or procedure for each of the activities involved in arranging and organising a meeting such as policies or procedures on preparation and set out of agenda, notice of meeting, minutes of meeting, catering arrangements, accommodation arrangements, venue bookings etc. And it is imperative that a chairperson or meeting convenor is most familiar with that organisations policy and procedures, and follows these procedures. Some good practices may include: Set rules for discussion, Encourage people to read paper/notes before the meeting, Keep discussion to the agenda items Dedicate important issues to ensure that they are given sufficient attention, Ensure everyone gets an opportunity to contribute to the discussion, Avoid lengthy arguments if possible, Close out discussions when reaching time limits, Summarise the arguments for and against, Facilitate agreement on an outcome/conclusion. Steps for formal meeting: Opening of the meeting The Chair makes a statement welcoming participants. Attendance and apologies Names of attendees are recorded. The apologies provide a record of those who have not been in attendance. Minutes of the previous meeting Minutes of the previous meeting are provided for confirmation by the members who were present at that meeting. This record then becomes binding upon the members. Business rising from minutes There may be business arising from the previous minutes, such as action that has not yet been taken, that will need to be dealt with at this point. Correspondence Both incoming and outgoing mail should either be read in full or summarized. The correspondence is then received by the meeting. Business arising from correspondence Information from the correspondence may require a decision to be made or action to be taken. It should be done at this point. Special business This is where debate and discussion takes place on motions that have been placed on the agenda. General business New business or topics not yet covered in the meeting can be introduced here. It is standard procedure that they be subjects, not motions. The members present can discuss the subjects and may decide to include or exclude them from the next meetings agenda. Next meeting The Chair or secretary may propose a date for the next meeting. However, there can be no negotiation if the next meeting is specified by law or the standing orders. Closure of meeting The Chair can end the meeting effectively by summarizing the proceedings. The Chair should then thank everyone for attending, mention any special guests and reiterate the date of the next meeting before closing the meeting. Does the organisation you work for, or one you have worked for prior to now, have policies and procedures on meeting arrangements? Meeting Rules and Meeting Protocol While we have looked at and discussed the roles of various personnel involved in meetings, there are a few rules and meeting protocol that should be observed and implemented to ensure the best outcome from all meetings. By following meeting protocol and abiding by a few rules, conflict can be eliminated, and Meetings be enjoyed and be productive. What do we mean by rules and protocol? Some organisations have specific rules that may govern the running of meetings, and these rules will need to be followed. However, there are general rules and protocol that are followed in all meetings. These include: The formal structure of meeting means that there is one leader (a chairperson or convenor), one secretary and one treasurer. In larger organisations these positions may be shared to share the load. Constitution Every member has a right to receive a copy of the official constitution and rules of the organisation that advises the name of the organisation, the names of official executive officers, committee members and the aims, goals and objectives of the organisation. These rules will outline the procedures for meetings. Call to Order Meetings should always commence on time despite latecomers. By implementing this strategy, it will indicate to all meeting members that the chairpersons word means what they say. It will help establish authority and a business-like and professional manner to meetings. The term Call to Order is used by the Chairperson to commence a meeting. Quorum -A meeting must have a minimum number of people present to commence -this is called a quorum. If the minimum number is not present, the chairperson can adjourn the meeting. Voting on issues or motions at a meeting is common -after a motion is discussed, the chairperson may ask the members of a meeting to accept a motion by voting for or against it. This motion is then recorded in the minutes, with a statement that the motion has been carried if the majority votes to accept the motion. If the majority do not vote for a motion, the motion will be recorded in the minutes with the statement the motion has not been carried. Motion A motion is a proposal formally put forward by a member at the meeting. Ideally a motion should be written and given to the chairperson prior to the meeting, however, at less formal meetings, verbal motions will be forward by members. Moving and seconding of proposals motions and amendments-Motions that are submitted or put forward, need to be seconded by a member of the meeting (someone who supports the motion). Once is has been seconded, the motion can be addressed and discussed by the mover of the motion. After it is addressed, the chairperson asks if anyone else at the meeting wishes to speak against the motion if not, the motion is opened up for discussion by all members. Throughout discussion, the chairperson endeavours to maintain a balance between those speaking for the motion and those speaking against it- this result in a balanced and open discussion that will assist in healthy decisions being made. Amendment An Amendment can be made to the motion as a result of discussion this means that a change can be made to alter the original wording of a motion if it is felt an alteration would improve or clarify the original motion. If an Amendment is made, the chairperson will then ask for a seconder for the amended motion. This amended motion is then discussed and voted on as the acceptable motion. Right of Reply If this amended motion is accepted, the original motion is amended (changed) before it is put to the meeting to vote on. However, prior to voting on this changed amended or original motion, the mover has a right of reply- where they can comment, reiterate and emphasise their points. Vote and Voting- After this right of reply, the chairperson asks all members of the meeting to vote for or against the motion. The simplest way to vote on a motion is by yes or no or show of hands for and against. And the motion is won or lost by simple majority. Casting Vote If the vote is tied, the chairperson (who does not vote on the motion), will vote either for or against the motion and he will exercise a casting vote. Carried and Not Carried The majority yes vote for a motion means that the motion has been carried. If a motion does not receive a majority of yes votes, it is not carried. Resolution -Once a motion put forward to a meeting has been accepted and carried, it becomes a resolution. This means that this issue or motion put forward to the meeting that was carried, has been accepted, has been resolved to the satisfaction of the meeting, and will be acted upon or carried out the organisation is committed to the action of the motion. All motions whether carried or not, should be recorded in the minutes of the meeting -indicating who moved the motion, who seconded the motion, and that it was Carried or Not Carried. Addendum Sometimes an existing motion may be added to without having to drastically change the existing motion or having to go through a formal procedure of removing a motion and instigating a new motion. This is called an Addendum to a motion. To make an Addendum to a motion only requires the approval of the mover and seconder of the original motion. Again, it needs to be presented at a meeting and then recorded in the minutes of that meeting. Point of Order There are times in Meetings when the chairperson or convenor may call Point of Order. This occurs when: discussion may get off the topic; a member is speaking too long on an issue or is side-tracking; members may be getting uptight because of the issue or anothers opinion; ignoring the aim of the meeting, etc. When these things occur, the chairperson will stop whatever is happening by calling point of order, sum up discussions, and proceed with the meeting. Motion of Dissent- if a member of the meeting is unhappy with the chairpersons judgement or ruling on an issue in relation to an agenda item, they can move a motion of dissent. Should this occur, the motion will need to be seconded? When this occurs, the chairperson needs to step down from the chair and a stand-in member will become the chairperson for the remainder of the discussion for that agenda item. Following Meeting Procedures In addition to being most familiar with the terms above, it is essential that you implement and use the above and follow meeting procedures in order to have a successful and effective meeting. This involves: Commence and finish the meeting on time Following the agenda items in order Use and implement meeting terminology in the appropriate places Allowing sufficient time for discussion on the various items Set time limits for the various items of discussion, and if they go over the time limit, conclude, wrap-up and sum-up that items discussion Keep order of the meeting Focus the discussion in the meeting on the various items and not let members side track on to other irrelevant topics/issues Deal with any potential conflict and disorder Keep the meeting to its time limit Involve all members in discussions and in the meeting Ensure that all items on the agenda are covered if there is insufficient time to cover all items, adjourn them until the next meeting Set the scene for the meeting and conduct it in a way that uses time efficiently and effectively Organise time, date and venue of next meeting Conclude and close the meeting A good piece of advice is that a good chairperson leads the group and this comes about because the chairperson is Organised Prepared Planned Follows meeting procedures, and Have good communication skills (verbal and non-verbal) Roles and Duties of Meeting Members All members of meetings have specific roles that they perform and undertake in order for a meeting to run smoothly and have productive outcomes. The roles of the chairperson, secretary, treasurer and minute taker are summarised below: Chairperson The duties and role of the chairperson are critical to the success of any meeting. As well as being able to achieve the goals of the meeting, they need to maintain control, be fair and exercise impartiality, and understand meeting procedures. The chairperson needs to conduct a meeting in a methodical manner, following accepted meeting procedures for that organisation. The duties and responsibilities of a chairperson are listed below: Convenes a meeting in accordance with the rules of that organisation Ensures a notice of a meeting is prepared and distributed (if a notice of meeting is used by that organization) Prepares and distributes an agenda to all members Conducts a meeting if there are sufficient people present (called a quorum) Adjourns the meeting if there is not a quorum, or if the business for that meeting cannot be completed at the one sitting/meeting Open and conducts the meeting Creates a good meeting climate where all members feel they belong and can contribute Leads and conducts the meeting within the organisations guidelines Controls interruptions, domination, and arguments Controls discussions, brainstorming, debates and participation Controls compulsive talkers/stirrers and disorderly or outspoken persons Ensures that all members are treated fairly and have opportunity to contribute without feeling pressured by others Encourages and supports participation from all the group Provides feedback Motivates the group Delegates tasks resulting from the meeting If voting is involved on issues, can give a casting vote Remains impartial on issues so that all benefit Maintains authority Rules on procedural points or procedures Refuses to allow discussion to take place on issues that dont belong to that meeting and will put them to the next meeting if the issue is relevant Signs the minutes of the previous meeting as a true and accurate copy of that meeting Formally closes the meeting Manages all meeting paperwork Secretary The duties of a secretary are numerous and the manner in which they are conducted contribute greatly to the meetings success. Because of the nature of meetings and meeting documentation, it is important that there is a close union between the chairperson and the secretary- as many administrative duties are shared by both. Some duties and responsibilities of a meeting secretary include: Plans for the meeting -arranges the venue, seating, arrangements, refreshments and correspondence Issues (and often types) the notice of meeting and agenda and then distributes to all meeting members within a reasonable time prior to the meeting Prepares and copies documents that may be required for the meeting (minutes of previous meeting, correspondence, reports) Carries out decisions of the meeting Processes correspondence from the meeting Drafts letters and reports on behalf of the organisation as a result of that meeting Prepares an action list resulting from decisions made at the meeting Writes up the minutes of the meeting Treasurer The treasurer is responsible for any financial matters pertaining to the organisation, and often required to make a financial report or present a financial report to Meetings on the financial status of that organisation. They usually are signatories on company or organisation cheques (along with at least one other signatory, often the chairperson or secretary of the organisation). In addition to being responsible for the financial matters of an organisation and reporting this to meetings, other duties and responsibilities of the treasurer includes: Maintain financial records for an organisation such as cash books, deposit and cheque books, petty cash and miscellaneous expenditure records book, various bookkeeping records Advise on financial consequences for both internal and external decisions Supervise the handling and perhaps collection of moneys Report the financial status of the organisation to the meeting including reports on current bank balance, statement of receipts and payments, cash flow etc Manage investment portfolios for the organisation Monitor and advise on interest rates and currency trends Minute Taker The minute taker of a meeting may be anyone in that meeting, however, it is most often the role of the secretary, who will record the events and actions of a meeting and this is called recording minutes. Sometimes the taking of minutes may even be shared between a numbers of people at the same meeting- with one person recording the minutes, another recording motions put forward during the meeting, etc. Regardless of whether it is one person or more, it is important that the minute taker Be able to summarise and condense material discussed Be able to know what to record, and what to omit from discussions Be able to isolate key words and key matters from general discussion Have knowledge of motions, amendments and procedures to record both within minutes (proposed, seconded, and carried) Be familiar with subject matter being discussed at the meeting Be guided by the layout and detail in previous minutes Record details accurately Write up the minutes after the meeting Check details placed in minutes are correct and accurate (names, figures etc.) Attach copies of any correspondence to the minutes that needs to be attached Have minutes edited and checked Present final copy to the chairperson for amendments or clarification -then make any changes required Copy and distribute minutes to members of the meeting File minutes for future reference and for the next meeting File or attach signed copy of last meetings minutes to the minute book Tasks, duties and procedures, the Minute Taker should: Be able to summarise and condense material discussed, Be able to know what to record, and what to omit from discussions, Be able to isolate key words and key matters from general discussion, Write the exact wording of all motions, amendments and resolutions, Be familiar with subject matter being discussed at the meeting, Be guided by the layout and detail in previous minutes, Record details accurately, Write up the minutes after the meeting, Check details placed in minutes are correct and accurate (names, figures etc), Attach copies of any correspondence to the minutes that needs to be attached, Have minutes edited and checked, Present final copy to the chairperson for amendments or clarification then make any changes required, Copy and distribute minutes to members of the meeting, File minutes for future reference and for the next meeting, File or attach signed copy of last meetings minutes to the minute book. Duties of Other Members of the Meeting Successful and productive meetings are not only occur because of the chairperson, but because all members at the meeting contribute and participate in the meeting. As a participant in a meeting, you are able to contribute and make the meeting more successful and productive. This includes knowing how to act as part of a meeting team, knowing how to conduct oneself, knowing how to communicate with others, being respectful to all other members in the meeting, knowing meeting procedures- and preparing for that meeting by reading the agenda and preparing any submissions or matters that you are proposing to bring up at the meeting. Roles and Behaviours of all Meeting Members There are three distinct roles and behaviours found in meetings that members may take on- these are: Tasks related roles which allow the meeting to progress through the various stages by concentrating or focusing on the tasks. Tasks are broken into distinctive steps: Goals or objectives are planned and set Planning and discussions take place Decisions and resolutions are reached to achieve these goals. If you are proposing in bringing up an issue or making a proposal at a meeting, it is advisable that you prepare by undertaking the following: State your main point of your proposal or issue Give the reason or need for this proposal or issue. Present relevant background information to support this proposal or issue By following these three steps you will be properly prepared for presenting your issue or proposal -and it will be properly listened to, discussed and decisions made for an outcome. It also helps you keep to the issue or proposal you are presenting, and present it professionally without being emotional or personal. And it is imperative that you keep to the issue or proposal for it to be properly listened to and discussed. Strategies associated with tasks related roles and behaviour that a chairperson may use in a meeting include: Initiating Information gathering Opinion gathering Clarifying Summarising Maintenance related roles All members of a meeting can take on and be responsible for maintenance related role or behaviours. Maintenance-related role are used to support and encourage contributions from all members, to encourage feedback, support communication, rapport, and interaction, and to create a positive environment by reducing stress and minimising conflict. Strategies that could be used to do this include: Creating harmony Delegating Guiding Motivating Mediating Diffusing situations by involving all members and their contributions Defensive and Dysfunctional Related Roles these are two roles that contrast with task related and maintenance related roles which specifically aim at facilitating the achievement of the meetings goals. People take on defensive roles to protect other members from anxiety caused when the meeting is unable to perform effectively or properly they do this by creating a tension reliever (use witticism and jokes), or becoming a scapegoat, whisperer, sleeper or an observer. People take on dysfunctional roles to achieve their own agendas- they do this by blocking, rebelling or being a show-off, know-it-all, pessimist, or interrupter. On the next page is an Activity containing a list of defensive and dysfunctional related roles and behaviours- I have provided a brief explanation next to each? Study these -do you recognise some of them? They are quite common at Meetings and need to be carefully and professionally managed by the chairperson. I have left a third column- would you please add an example scenario for each of these roles and behaviours: Conduct a Meeting In this section, we look at strategies and guidelines to assist you to conduct a formal meeting. Commencing the Meeting below is a simple list of procedures that a chairperson will follow to conduct a meeting: Once a quorum is present, the chairperson declares a meeting open The Chairperson welcomes all participants to the meeting and introduces any visitors or members not known to others in the meeting Chairperson will then state the aims and objectives of the meeting, and refer to the agenda and the items on it that will be followed. Chairperson will proceed to work through the items on the agenda, covering each item in order- which include: Welcome to members Asks for apologies -these are minuted Checks and then confirms that the Minutes of the previous meeting are correct they then sign these minutes as a correct and accurate copy of the previous meeting. Proceeds through any matters arising from previous minutes Tables any reports- or asks for reports to be presented (financial, marketing, social etc.) Correspondence that has been received that relates to the meeting or that organisation may be presented and then acted upon Chairperson will then proceed through other items on the agenda carefully controlling discussions and involvement by all other members. At the completion of all items on the agenda, or if time runs out, the chairperson will arrange time, date and place of next meeting. Chairperson will then declare the meeting closed. On the next page is an Activity to do in relation to organising and conducting successful meetings. Communications skills to Enhance Meetings A high level of good communications skills used at meetings will assist in that meeting achieving the meeting outcomes, goals and objectives. People meet together in all organisations, both business and social, to exchange ideas and knowledge and to achieve outcomes. And an effective meeting enables decisions to be made that reflect the organisation and then these decisions can be implemented to the benefit and good of that organisation. Preparation -whether you are a member of a meeting or are the chairperson of a meeting, it is the responsibility of all members to attend meetings by being prepared for that meeting you should know both the purpose of the meeting and be familiar with items on the agenda. It may involve researching or reading up on background information, or preparing a presentation or report. Participation it is important to participate in a meeting in such a way that your contribution supports and enhances the meeting. Members should make suggestions, ideas- and be involved in the decision making and discussion that takes place. Courtesy and manners it is the responsibility of all members to be courteous and to use good manners. This involves arriving at the meeting on time, being attentive during the meeting, displaying good nonverbal communication, showing and having respect for all members at the meeting, listening to others in the meeting, do not cause interruptions, distraction or conflict, be polite, speak clearly and correctly use acceptable language, and follow the order of the agenda items set out. And if you cannot attend a meeting, send an apology. Feedback it is essential that members both receive and give feedback. Through inviting and receiving and in giving feedback, members know whether others have understood what has been said. Questions asking questions will often stimulate discussions, promote ideas and motivate members to get involved. Questions can also be used to clarify the understanding of issues. Summarise discussions and recap chairpersons and convenors need to recap discussions by summarising into a few sentences or points what has been said. By doing this not only brings the discussion to a close so that a new item on the agenda can commence, but summarises the discussion in point form or a few sentences for all members and the minute taker. Listening careful listening is an essential responsibility for all members of the meeting. And one easy way to put this into practice is to paraphrase anothers discussion or statement or idea or comments. Non Verbal Language this includes all body movement, touching behaviour, vocal qualities, use of space and environment, use of paralanguage (how something is said, not what is said). And all members will use nonverbal lananguage and behaviour. It is the way you use your limbs, hands, heads, feet, body, legs, posture and facial expressions to enhance or hinder communication. As well, clothing style and appearance contributes to nonverbal messaging. The environment and location in which a meeting is held influences the meeting outcome and can affect the climate of the meeting. Harmony creating and maintaining a harmonious environment in a meeting only adds to the productivity and effectiveness of meetings. And it is the responsibility of the chairperson and all members to each contribute to this atmosphere. Brainstorming this communication strategy is a great way of starting and stimulating discussion and involving all members in a non-threatening way. Even the quietest member at a meeting will become involved and put forward ideas and suggestions. It is a quick and effective way in accumulating a number of ideas and suggestions that can form the basis of discussion or assist in finding solutions to problems. Communication Barriers which cause Difficulties and Problems in Meetings It is expected that the chairperson or convenor of a meeting will control the meeting through using professionalism, commonsense, fairness and good communication skills. However, in spite of using all of these, problems and difficulties sometimes do occur and the chairperson will need to solve these. Some problems or difficulties that may occur are described below: Conflict is a real behaviour that can and does occur in Meetings as a result of differing opinions, attitudes, lack of communication, ignorance, prejudices, or when a member is not listened to in meetings. Chairpersons and convenors need to manage this conflict -while a little conflict can stimulate discussion and be a good behaviour in this regard, prolonged conflict is detrimental to the efficiency and outcome of a meeting. Unresolved conflict and ill feelings will create stress and hostility- and reduced productivity at future meetings. It is critical for chairpersons and convenors to create harmony at meetings. Poor verbal skills this creates an immediate barrier to meeting communication. And it occurs when poor or inappropriate expression or terms or language is used, or even when people are addressed incorrectly. Poor nonverbal skills inappropriate or improper nonverbal communication skills creates communication barriers so great that meetings can be deemed totally ineffective. Ineffective listening poor listening skills can be as a result of boredom, not being interested, not liking the person speaking or the topic being discussed, distractions in the room, thinking on other matters and all contributing to creating a communication barrier and destroying the effectiveness of the meeting. Unwillingness to be involved when members of a meeting are unwilling to take on tasks or even be actively involved in a meeting places extra workload on the other members, which in turn can cause resentment by other members to the unwilling member. Sometimes unwillingness can be the result of lack of confidence in undertaking a task, and it is the responsibility of the chairperson to draw that person into being involved in tasks and meetings perhaps even teaming them up with other members to do something, or by asking direct questions, or even working with that person on a task. Positive feedback can also encourage unwilling members to become willing members. Effective planning is a crucial step in holding productive meetings, but the work doesnt stop once the planning has been completed. This section will help you to use effective planning to result in an effective meeting using appropriate management techniques. As with many tasks in the workplace, good outcomes stern from good management. This section will explain the responsibilities of a chairperson and minute-taker, and help you understand how a productive meeting is run while adhering to organisational conventions and government legislation and regulation. Scenario: Yellowstone Supermarkets Safety Committee Yellowstone Supermarkets has just formed a new safety committee. Joseph has been elected as the chairperson of the committee and is therefore responsible for managing the committee meetings. Joseph knows that as chairperson he is responsible for ensuring that he chairs the meetings In accordance with the organisations requirements but also with any applicable conventions and legislation. To meet this requirement he obtains a copy of the organisations meeting procedures from the policy and procedure manual and he also speaks with past committee chairperson and the store manager regarding any applicable conventions. Joseph knows from his safety committee training that the occupational health and safety (OHS) legislation also stipulates the way in which safety committee meetings are conducted and recorded. He obtains a copy of the legislation to understand these requirements. To assist Joseph in ensuring he continues to meet all of these requirements and that the committee understands why the meetings are conducted following a specific format, Joseph develops the Yellowstone Supermarkets Safety Committee Meeting Guidelines. These guidelines incorporate all of the requirements that apply to the way in which the safety committee meeting is conducted. Joseph lists this document on the agenda for the meeting and provides a copy to all committee members. What skills will you need? In order to work effectively as a senior administrator, you must be able to: chair meetings in accordance with organisational requirements, agreed conventions for the type of meeting and legal and ethical requirements conduct meetings to ensure they are focused, time efficient and achieve outcomes ensure meeting facilitation enables participation, discussion, problem solving and resolution of issues brief the minute taker on method for recording meeting notes in accordance with organisational requirements and conventions for the type of meeting Chair meetings When chairing meetings you are responsible for conducting the meeting in accordance with any organisational requirements, agreed conventions and legal and ethical requirements. As chairperson you must be aware of all these requirements to ensure that your meeting complies with what is required. These requirements vary depending on the organisation. If you are responsible for managing meetings you should ensure that you find out the requirements that are applicable to your organisation prior to conducting meetings. Organisational requirements Many organisations have specific requirements as to the way in which meetings are to be conducted. These requirements generally provide guidelines regarding the organisations expectations as to how meetings are to be conducted and how participants are to behave during the meeting. Examples of organisational requirements include: limiting meeting duration, for example meetings cannot exceed two hours meeting agenda must be documented for all meetings meeting minutes must be captured for all meetings delegates must have the authority to make decisions meetings must start and finish on time all meetings must have a designated chairperson participants must arrive on time mobile phones are to be switched off one person to speak at a time Conventions Conventions are past practices and common law that participants have continued to apply when conducting and participating in meetings. While there is nothing stopping participants from making changes to conventions, many remain in place because of their familiarity and because they have proven to be beneficial in conducting productive meetings. Some examples of conventions can cover the following. Chairperson usually holds the casting vote. Conflict of interest provisions. Consensus is required for all decisions. Majority of members to agree for all decisions. Process for moving and seconding formal motions. Discussions are restricted to agenda items only. All discussion to be directed through the chairperson. Quorum (minimum number of attendees required for meeting to go ahead). Time limit on speakers. Voting procedures. Legal and ethical requirements Depending on the type of organisation and the type of meeting, there may be legal or ethical requirements that you need to consider. Legislation relating to companies or associations can stipulate some meeting requirements. Company meetings are regulated by the relevant Companies Acts and by the companys Articles of Association (a company specific document that is developed in agreement with shareholders that includes meeting procedures). This legislation regulates the way in which public meetings are conducted including how shareholders are notified of the meeting and what will be covered. Companies who are subject to this legislation should ensure they are aware of their obligations. Other examples of legislation regarding the way in which meetings are conducted include the following. Workplace legislation, such as anti-discrimination, equal opportunity, harassment, occupational health and safety, industrial legislation, etc. must also be considered when arranging meetings. Even if a meeting is being conducted outside of normal working hours and not on company premises workplace legislation still applies. The Local Government Act 1993 and the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 detail requirements of local government bodies, such as councils, with regards to meetings. Ethical requirements include the following. Meeting minutes are a true and accurate reflection of what occurred during the meeting. Participants invited include all those required to make decisions. Discussions are conducted open and honestly. Confidentiality is maintained where required. Learning Activity: Chairing meeting Detail examples of organisational requirements, conventions and legal and ethical requirements that apply to meetings conducted in an organisation you have worked for, or search the internet to detail those of an Australian company. Organisational requirements: Conventions: Legal and ethical requirements: Conduct meetings When managing meetings you need to ensure that your meeting is conducted effectively and that the desired outcomes of the meeting are achieved. Conducting effective meetings involves the following: Meeting set up Open the meeting Control the meeting Summarise discussions Achieve meeting goals Meeting set up It is good practice to arrive at the meeting at least ten minutes early to check that all of the meeting set up requirements have been met. An important part of conducting effective meetings is ensuring that the meeting is set up and ready for when participants arrive preventing any delays to getting started. You should check that: there are no noise problems that could disturb the meeting the furniture is arranged appropriately for the meeting there is enough seating equipment is working and ready you have enough copies of the agenda any other specific requirements have been correctly arranged Learning activity: meeting set up What are the benefits of arriving early to your meeting and checking the meeting set up? What are the potential impacts to your meeting should you not arrive early to confirm the meeting set up is correct? Opening the meeting When conducting meetings you should ensure that you take a couple of minutes to open the meeting. Taking some time to open the meeting allows you to establish the ground rules of the meeting with participants and demonstrates to participants that you will be conducting the meeting. Tip: Never wait for late arrivals to open your meeting Opening the meeting involves two steps. Step 1- Making Introductions Welcome participants and thank them for attending. Introduce yourself if everyone does not know you. Introduce any new participants. Advise participants of any apologies. Step 2 Getting under way State the purpose of the meeting. Read through the agenda. Ask participants for any urgent Items that need to be added to the agenda. Note: Adding agenda items at this stage may require you to remove other items from the agenda, reduce the amount of time given to other items or extend the time of the meeting. One you have completed the introductions and discussed the agenda you introduce the first item to be discussed. Learning activity: Opening the meeting Why is it important that you take the time to open the meeting? How does this step assist meeting participants? Controlling the meeting To assist you in achieving the meeting goals you should be focused on leading the discussion to positive outcomes where decisions are made and actions are agreed. When you conduct a meeting you are in charge of the meeting. Participants are relying on you to manage the discussions to ensure all agenda items are covered within the designated timeframe. To effectively control meetings you should: introduce each agenda item and provide a brief explanation as to why it is being discussed encourage all participants to speak but only one at a time ensure everyone gets an opportunity to contribute to the discussion take time out to clarity any issues that appear to be causing confusion at the end of each agenda item summarise discussions keep a close eye on the time and close out discussions when time limits have been reached Learning activity: Controlling the meeting What are some effective strategies to control meetings that you have witnessed in the past? What made these strategies effective? Strategy 1 Strategy 2 Strategy 3 Summarising discussions Summarising the discussions of each agenda item at the conclusion of the items discussion ensures that all participants are kept fully informed. To effectively summarise discussions you should: allow time for everyone to express their opinion summarise the arguments for and against Facilitate agreement on an outcome/conclusion through either a formal vote or discussion, depending on the format of the meeting. This step is very important as it provides critical information for your note taker to record in the meeting minutes Learning activity: Summarising discussions What are some of the impacts of not summarising discussions? Impact 1 Impact 2 Impact 3 Achieving the meeting goals The aim of your meeting is to cover all agenda items within the allocated timeframe and make decisions or agree upon actions where required. For matters that are not resolved dont be tempted to run over time, instead carry those matters over to the next meeting or agree on the next step towards resolving that issue. You can measure the success of your meeting by reviewing the desired outcomes against what you achieved during the meeting. A successful meeting achieves all of the desired outcomes within the designated timeframe. Example: Jennys meeting Jenny is responsible for organising the companys end of year party. She has called a meeting with all administrators to develop the action plan for organising the party. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday week starting at 10 am and finishing at 11am. Jenny has sent an invitation and a copy of the agenda, via Outlook, to all administrators and they have all advised they will be attending. On the day of meeting Jenny arrives ten minutes early to check the room set up. She finds that the room is short two chairs so she goes and finds two more chairs. With the meeting now set up correctly Jenny has five minutes to spare before the participants arrive so she reviews the agenda to ensure she is clear on what she wants to achieve from the meeting. At 10 am one participant is yet to arrive however Jenny does not wait and commences the meeting on the time. Jenny welcomes the participants and being that everyone in the room knows each other she moves on to advising the purpose of the meeting and reviewing the agenda. Jenny then introduces the first agenda item for discussion. The meeting progresses as planned and Jenny manages all discussions to ensure the agenda items are completed within the designated time. As a result the meeting concludes at 11am. At the end of the meeting Jenny summarises that an action plan had been agreed upon, detailing all of the required actions for organising the end of year party and the person responsible for completing each action. Jenny advises that a copy of the action plan will be circulated to all participants within the next two days and the team will meet again in one weeks time to discuss progress against each action. Once back at her desk Jenny is pleased with the outcome of her meeting. The goal of the meeting was to develop an action plan to organise the company end of year party. Upon conclusion of the meeting Jenny and the participants have developed an agreed action plan. Jenny was also pleased that she achieved this outcome within the designated timeframe of one hour. Learning activity: Achieving meeting goals Describe a meeting you managed or participated in that achieved its goals. What strategies were used that ensured the meetings goals were achieved? Describe a meeting you managed or participated in that did not achieve its goals. What went wrong? Tips for running effective meeting and trouble shooting General Tips Start on time. Finish on time. Explain the purpose of the meeting and what the attendees will gain from contributing, I.e. whats in it for me (WIIFM). Stick to the agenda. Ensure phones are turned off/no Interruptions. Summarise key points and ensure they are recorded on the minutes. Troubleshooting No Participation Ask specific questions. Go around the group to ensure everyone contributes. Offer some ideas /suggestions yourself to get the ball rolling. Disagreements Dont tolerate abuse or inappropriate behaviour- state that this is not acceptable and wont be tolerated. Allow discussion but when making no headway call a halt and agree to disagree and thank people for their ideas. Going Off Track Refer participants back to the agenda. Table issues until a later time- This is valid discussion but this meeting is not the time to be discussing it Chairperson to halt discussion, summarise key points and then direct participants to the next agenda item. Use a flip chart or white board to list agenda Items and times. Tick off after each point. Keeps the agenda visible and reminds participants of how much is left to be covered. Running out of Time Select key agenda points and include missed items in the minutes for Inclusion at next meeting. Ask participants if they have additional time and extend the meeting (better to acknowledge that the meeting is running long than to have participants become impatient as you rush through things and hold them up). Cant reach agreement If this is a constant problem, agree prior to the meeting on a decision-making process. When discussion has concluded, implement the process, e.g. majority rules; Chairperson/Managers decision; or referred upward for decision. Use flip chart or white board to work through problem solving models. One Participant Dominating Call on others individually (dont throw every question to the group). Thank them for their contribution and then state Lets hear some other views they may get the hint). If a common problem, talk to them prior to the meeting and say Bob. I really value your enthusiasm and participation but I worry that your strength might be intimidating to the others. I was hoping I could count on you to help encourage some of the others to play more of an active role Ask them to take the minutes or keep time. Facilitate outcomes An effective meeting is a meeting that achieves its purpose within the designated timeframe. When chairing a meeting you are responsible for facilitating: participation and discussion resolution of issues decision making Participation and discussion As chairperson you need to be able facilitate participation and discussion amongst attendees. The fact that you have invited these attendees to your meeting means that you have identified them as valuable contributors to achieving the goals of the meetings. It is, therefore, essential that you encourage their participation throughout discussions. Effectively facilitating participation and discussion involves the following: Facilitate: dont dominate Your role is to facilitate discussions and in some situations you will also be a participant in the discussions. It is important that you do not dominate discussions as this can result in other participants not contributing leading to less ideas being generated. Remember that you invited these people to attend because you believed they could provide a valuable contribution to achieving the goals of the meeting and therefore you need to be encouraging them to contribute their ideas and thoughts. Stimulate discussion As chairperson you will often find yourself in tile situation where you need to stimulate discussion. This is quite different to dominating discussions and is more than just speaking because nobody else is. To stimulate discussions you can: Ask open ended questions such as tell me what you think about this proposal? Actively support participants when they do speak such as thanks Bill, that is a good idea, what do others think Paraphrase what people say to let them know that you were listening to and valuing what they said as well as to confirm that everyone understood what was being said. Paraphrase peoples feelings to demonstrate to participants that you are hearing what they have said but you also understand what they have said. For example you look pleased with those results. Facilitate brainstorming sessions as these can be both fun and effective. Encourage healthy debate A healthy debate is discussion about the merits of an idea. An unhealthy debate is one that is focused on people rather than an idea. Healthy debate is important during meetings as it helps to make better decisions because the idea has been evaluated considering both the positives and negatives. You can encourage healthy debates by asking questions such as what is good about this idea? and then asking what are some of the challenges that this idea presents. You can also encourage healthy debate by allowing participants to be critical of ideas that are put forward during the meeting. As long as the criticism is constructive and focused on the idea not the person who contributed the idea. Avoid problems and confrontations As a chairperson there are some things that you should avoid during the meeting. Avoiding these will help you to facilitate a successful meeting. Discourage unhealthy debate by taking a break, addressing the emotions, agree to disagree and move on. Avoid dominance by one person or group by setting ground rules before the meeting starts, inviting others to participate, thanking them for their contribution and advising it is now time to hear from others in the group. Deal with disrupters by speaking with them after the meeting and advising them that their behaviour was disruptive during the meeting, or reminding them of the ground rules throughout the meeting. Avoid Groupthink, where the participants dont challenge one another, by facilitating activities where participants are required to identify challenges and positives of ideas as part of the evaluation process. Resolution of issues The second responsibility of a chairperson is to direct discussion towards the resolution of issues. Resolutions may include deferring decisions to another meeting or agreeing on a course of action during this meeting. Whatever the case as a chairperson you will need to have problem solving skills to be able to facilitate the discussions to reach an agreed resolution. Learning activity: Problem solving What strategies do you currently use, or have you witnessed, to resolve issues during meetings? Using problem solving techniques to resolve issues There are many techniques that you can apply to solve problems. These techniques can be very useful in helping you to identify the root cause of the problem and what the solution is. They are also very useful in helping you to involve others to solve the problem. Below are examples of problem solving techniques that are ideal for use during meetings? These techniques are team-based activities that allow you to include others to identify and resolve the issues. Example: 5 Whys Quickly Getting to the Root of a Problem The 5 Whys is a simple problem solving technique that helps users to get to the root of the problem quickly. Made popular In the 1970s by the Toyota Production System, the 5 Whys strategy involves looking at any problem and asking: Why and What caused this problem? Very often, the answer to the first why will prompt another why and the the answer to the second why will prompt another and so on; hence the name the 5 Whys strategy. Benefits of the 5 Whys: It helps to quickly determine the root cause of a problem. It is easy to learn and apply. How to use the 5 Whys When looking to solve a problem, start at the end result and work backward (toward the root cause), continually asking: Why? This will need to be repeated over and over until the root cause of the problem becomes apparent. Example Following is an example of the 5 Whys analysis as an effective problem solving technique. Why is our client, MacDonalds, unhappy? Because we did not deliver our services when we said we would. Why were we unable to meet the agreed timeline or schedule for delivery? The job tool much longer than we thought it would. Why did it take so much longer? Because we underestimated the complexity of the job. Why did we underestimate the complexity of the job? Because we made a quick estimate of the time needed to complete it, and did not list the individual stages needed to complete the project. Why didnt we do this? Because we were running behind on other projects. We clearly need to review our time estimation and specification procedures. Key Points The 5 Whys strategy is an easy and often-effective tool for uncovering the root of a problem. Because it is so elementary in nature, It can be adapted quickly and applied to most any problem. Bear in mind, however, that if it doesnt prompt an intuitive answer, other problem solving techniques may need to be applied. Example: Cause and effect Diagrams- Identifying the likely cause of problems Identify the problem Write down the exact problem you face in detail. Where appropriate identify who is involved, what the problem is, and when and where it occurs. Write the problem in a box on the left hand side of a large sheet of paper. Draw a line across the paper horizontally from the box. This gives you space to develop ideas. Work out the major factors involved Next, identify the factors that may contribute to the problem. Draw lines off the spine for each factor, and label it. These may be people involved with the problem, systems, equipment, materials, external forces, etc. Try to draw out as many possible factors as possible. If you are trying to solve the problem as part of a group, then this may be a good time for some brainstorming. Using the Fish bone analogy, the factors you find can be though of as the bones of the fish. Identify possible causes For each of the factors you considered, brainstorm possible causes of the problem that may be related to the factor. Show these as smaller lines coming off the bones of the fish. Analyse your diagram By this stage you should have a diagram showing all the possible causes of your problem. This is known as a fishbone diagram. It does not establish root cause. It creates a visual record of one or more hypotheses about root cause. Each hypothesis still needs to be tested. Cause and effect diagram Depending on the complexity and importance of the problem, you can now investigate the most likely causes further. This may involve setting up investigations, carrying out surveys, etc. These will be designed to test whether your assessments are correct. Example: SWOT Analysis Strengths What advantages does the idea have? What does the idea do well? What flexibility does it have? Weaknesses What cant it do? What are the faults or flaws? What problems might there be with it? Opportunities What is the potential? What could it be adapted for? A useful approach to looking at opportunities is to look at your strengths and ask yourself whether these open up any opportunities. Alternatively, look at your weaknesses and ask yourself whether you could open up opportunities by eliminating them. Threats What obstacles do you face? What is your competition doing? Are the required specifications for your job, products or services changing? Is changing technology a threat? Issue A Issue B Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats Meeting minutes Meeting Name Date Time Attendees Apologies Item Actions Next Meeting Meeting minutes tips! Follow the structure of the agenda. Keep the language clear and simple. Use bullet points where possible. Take minutes as you go (dont try and remember what was said and do them after the meeting). Only record things which people need to know or do (general discussion isnt as important as the agreed outcome or end result of that discussion). Include columns for who is responsible and a date when things are to happen. The chairperson should confirm with the minute taker in summary after each point to ensure accuracy. Learning activity: Recording meeting minutes Why is it important that you brief the person you have appointed as minute taker? Chair meetings in accordance with organisational requirements, agreed conventions for type of meeting and legal and ethical requirements, conduct meetings to ensure they are focused, time efficient and achieve outcomes and ensure meeting facilitation enables participation, discussion, problem solving and resolution of issues Meetings provide a valuable opportunity for managers and employees to develop formal and informal working relationships with persons from many other functions or disciplines within the organisation networking. Such coalition formations help prevent segment list over identification with one area, or divisive polarising politics. Teams, sections and divisions understand that they are part of a larger organisation. Meeting roles The chairperson (leader) convenes the meeting, introduces the agenda and keeps discussion in line with the agenda. The chairperson can be elected or appointed and should be able to control the meeting so the time spent is not wasted time and discussions do not move across to inconsequential or irrelevant tangents. Whenever a discussion goes on for longer than it should, or goes off topic, the chairperson should call the meeting back to order. If new ideas or problems, not related to the agenda, are brought up, the chairperson can ensure that they are placed on the agenda for the next meeting. The chairperson should also ensure that the minutes for the previous meeting are available and make certain that minutes for the upcoming meeting will be taken appropriately. The recorder (minute taker) produces a written summary of the meeting. Minutes include all actionable items mapped against the personnel responsible for actionable Items. The minutes also include documentation of any decisions made. Participants every group member has the responsibility to come to meetings prepared, contribute proactively to discussions, keep discussions and information relevant, and follow through on assignments. They should allow each speaker time to speak and should not interrupt. They should pay attention not use their mobiles to text friends, or doodle on paper. Mobiles should always be turned off in a meeting. In this way they show respect for the other meeting attendees. The chairperson must call meetings to order and ensure that they stay on track. If people deviate from the agenda the chair should ask them to return to the relevant issues. Where items are important they can be put into the parking lot, that is, listed on the whiteboard and brought out for discussion at the next meeting (listed on the agenda) or a later time. Encourage active participation by thanking people when they contribute, following through on ideas and suggestions, making sure that contributions are acknowledged. Agendas, distributed prior to the meeting, help people prepare. Ask people to formally contribute information related to their ideas, roles or needs. At the meeting each speaker and their role in the organisation should be acknowledged by the chair. In order to facilitate orderly discussion If it is the type of meeting in which discussion, problem-solving or strategising is required the chairperson must control the input of attendees and ensure that only 1 person contributes at time. Questions and requests to speak should be addressed to the chair. Each persons contribution should be duly noted and recorded. The role of chair can be rotated so that everyone has the opportunity to act as chair. This enables people like frontline managers in particular, to develop communication and meeting management skills. Meetings should be short and address specific issues. They should be chaired in such a way that those who wish to contribute are able to do so effectively provided that their contribution is neither irrelevant nor disruptive. Not all meetings must have documented minutes. In most cases, meeting minutes are necessary so that those who are unable to attend or who are interested stakeholders (this includes shareholders) can be informed of meeting processes and outcomes. They also enable people to look back on actionable items to discover who is responsible for completion of tasks and what timeframes were allocated to tasks. If there is a dispute about processes, responsibility or timeframes, the minutes act as a record of what was agreed upon. Some types of meetings must be properly documented (minuted). These include, for instance, board meetings, disciplinary meetings/ hearings, OHS committee meetings etc. Stakeholders must be supplied with minutes. In most circumstances, issues discussed in a meeting are subject to confidentiality requirements, that is, the tactics discussed at sales meetings. Financial information disclosed at a budget or management meeting, product/ service information discussed at promotion and marketing meetings should not be disclosed to unauthorised personnel and, most especially, to personnel who are external to the organisation. Assessment activity 4 If a meeting deviates from its planned agenda, what can be done to bring It back on track? The chairperson must call meetings to order and ensure that they stay on track. If people deviate from the agenda the chair should ask them to return to the relevant issues. Where items are important they can be put into the parking lot that is, listed on the whiteboard and brought out for discussion at the next meeting (listed on the agenda) or at a later time. Why is a chairperson necessary? If there is no structure to the meeting and no-one is available to call the meeting to order, then it is highly likely that issues will not be properly discussed and actionable outcomes will not result. Who should chair meetings? Why? A chair person should be someone with the requisite skills to chair the meeting and who is willing to take the task on. Chair roles can be rotated so that a number of people have the chance to develop their skills. How long should each meeting last? Why? Only as long as is necessary to achieve their purpose How can active participation in meetings be encouraged? Encourage active participation by thanking people when they contribute, following through on ideas and suggestions, making sure that contributions are acknowledged. Agendas, distributed prior to the meeting, help people prepare. Ask people to formally contribute information related to their ideas, roles or needs. Why are minutes necessary? Not all meetings must have documented minutes. In most cases, meeting minutes are necessary so that those who are interested stakeholders (this includes shareholders) can be informed of meeting processes and outcomes. They also enable people to look back on auctionable items to discover who is responsible for completion of tasks and what timeframes were allocated to tasks. If there is a dispute about processes, responsibility or timeframes were allocated to tasks. If there is a dispute about processes, responsibility or timeframes, the minutes act as record of what was agreed upon. Some types of meeting must be properly documented (minuted). These include, for instance, board meetings, disciplinary meetings/hearings, OHS committee meetings etc. Stake holders must be supplied with minutes. What confidently Issues might Impact on the information discussed in meetings? For example HR/personal issues, commercially sensitive information, strategic information. Brief minute taker on method for recording meeting notes in accordance with organisational requirements and conventions for type of meeting The meeting convener will, in many instances, brief the minute taker prior to the meeting. This briefing will serve to explain to the minute taker what is required in terms of detail and format of the minutes. Formats and expected content will vary, depending on the purpose and style of the meeting. Minute takers must take notes with a required degree of speed and accuracy to ensure a correct record of the meeting. Accurate recording: provides a transcript of the meeting provides an accurate record of what has been said and by whom allows people to review what they said and what they are committed to do can be referred to if any disputes arise encourages propel to feel accountable and to behave responsibly enables those who could not attend or who are interested stakeholders to be Informed of what happened at the meeting and of the meeting outcomes actionable items can be clarified later and progress toward completion can be checked The minutes will reflect the agenda in that the points on the agenda will correspond to the discussions that are documented. Generally the minutes will only document the major points of discussion, some different points of view, summarise the outcomes of discussion and/or record actions (and timeframes relevant to those actions) that must be undertaken by specific personnel. In heated discussions, or if there is a point that has some controversy, then more written dialogue might be included. On occasion, if a point needs to be reiterated or attendees are not clear on something, the chairperson might ask the minute taker to read that section of the meeting minutes back to the group. Accurate recording of meetings and discussions is important because: people can review what they said and what they are committed to do any disputes arising from meetings can, in most cases, be resolved through the minutes of the meeting people are more accountable if they are aware that somebody is documenting the outcomes of the meeting Minutes can be transcribed by hand and typed up later or they can be directly inputted into a laptop computer. It is not necessary to record every word that is spoken. Minutes should accurately record the major points of discussion, some different points of view and the outcomes of each discussion. ELEMENT 3 FOLLOW UP MEETINGS MANAGE MEETINGS Follow up meetings Check transcribed meeting notes to ensure they reflect a true and accurate record of the meeting, and are formatted in accordance with organisational procedures and meeting conventions Distribute and store minutes and other follow-up documentation within designated time lines, and according to organisational requirements Report outcomes of meetings as required, within designated time lines Activity 7 Why would an organisation have a Policy and Procedure on meetings? What advantage is there in having such a policy or procedure? Check within the organisation your work for- do they have a meeting procedure that your organisation follows? If it does, read through this policy and /or procedure and become familiar with what is required by your organization in organising and conducting Meetings- so that if you are required to organise and conduct a meeting in your workplace you are able to follow the correct procedures. I suggest you make and keep a copy of this procedure for your own reference. Meeting Rules and Meeting Protocol While we have looked at and discussed the roles of various personnel involved in meetings, there are a few rules and meeting protocol that should be observed and implemented to ensure the best outcome from all meetings. By following meeting protocol and abiding by a few rules, conflict can be eliminated, and Meetings be enjoyed and be productive. What do we mean by rules and protocol? Some organisations have specific rules that may govern the running of meetings, and these rules will need to be followed. However, there are general rules and protocol that are followed in all meetings. These include: The formal structure of meeting means that there is one leader (a chairperson or convenor), one secretary and one treasurer. In larger organisations these positions may be shared to share the load. Constitution Every member has a right to receive a copy of the official constitution and rules of the organisation that advises the name of the organisation, the names of official executive officers, committee members and the aims, goals and objectives of the organisation. These rules will outline the procedures for meetings. Call to Order Meetings should always commence on time despite latecomers. By implementing this strategy, it will indicate to all meeting members that the chairpersons word means what they say. It will help establish authority and a Minutes of Meetings Minutes of Meetings are a summary of what was discussed or transpired in a meeting. Minute taking depends on the type of meeting held, but in all formal meetings, the minutes are an official record of proceedings and transactions and the chairperson in turn certifies and signs these minutes. Minutes can be used as legal evidence of what has occurred during a meeting, whereby a court of law can accept signed minutes as evidence to establish a fact. Confirmation of the minutes of the previous meeting is always part of the meetings agenda and are signed by the chairperson and kept at the principal place of business, and are made available for inspection by members when requested. If the minutes are distributed to participants prior to a meeting, the minutes are then taken as having been read when the next meeting commences. If not, minutes of the previous meeting are read, then confirmed as a true and accurate record of that meeting. They perform four essential functions: Constitutional Minutes are the authoritative record of the proceedings. Historical Minutes provide a continuous historical narrative of activities, which can be used to check decisions, transactions etcs that occurred in the meeting. Executive When decisions are made and action has to be taken, the minutes are the blueprint and authority for action. Progressive Minutes are the basis for evolving policy. They enable a meeting to take up the thread from the point reached at the end of the last meeting. Communication Barriers which cause Difficulties and Problems in Meetings It is expected that the chairperson or convenor of a meeting will control the meeting through using professionalism, commonsense, fairness and good communication skills. However, in spite of using all of these, problems and difficulties sometimes do occur and the chairperson will need to solve these. Some problems or difficulties that may occur, are described below: Conflict- is a real behaviour that can and does occur in Meetings as a result of differing opinions, attitudes, lack of communication, ignorance, prejudices, or when a member is not listened to in meetings. Chairpersons and convenors need to manage this conflict- while a little conflict can stimulate discussion and be a good behaviour in this regard, prolonged conflict is detrimental to the efficiency and outcome of a meeting. Unresolved conflict and ill feelings will create stress and hostility- and reduced productivity at future meetings. It is critical for chairpersons and convenors to create harmony at meetings. Poor verbal skills this creates an immediate barrier to meeting communication. And it occurs when poor or inappropriate expression or terms or language is used, or even when people are addressed incorrectly. Poor nonverbal skills inappropriate or improper nonverbal communication skills creates communication barriers so great that meetings can be deemed totally ineffective. Ineffective listening- poor listening skills can be as a result of boredom, not being interested, not liking the person speaking or the topic being discussed, distractions in the room, thinking on other matters and all contributing to creating a communication barrier and destroying the effectiveness of the meeting. Unwillingness to be involved- when members of a meeting are unwilling to take on tasks or even be actively involved in a meeting places extra workload on the other members, which in turn can cause resentment by other members to the unwilling member. Sometimes unwillingness can be the result of lack of confidence in undertaking a task, and it is the responsibility of the chairperson to draw that person into being involved in tasks and meetings perhaps even teaming them up with other members to do something, or by asking direct questions, or even working with that person on a task. Positive feedback can also encourage unwilling members to become willing members. Brainstorming- this communication strategy is a great way of starting and stimulating discussion and involving all members in a non-threatening way. Even the quietest member at a meeting will become involved and put forward ideas and suggestions. It is a quick and effective way in accumulating a number of ideas and suggestions that can form the basis of discussion or assist in finding solutions to problems. Courtesy and manners- it is the responsibility of all members to be courteous and to use good manners. This involves arriving at the meeting on time, being attentive during the meeting, displaying good nonverbal communication, showing and having respect for all members at the meeting, listening to others in the meeting, do not cause interruptions, distraction or conflict, be polite, speak clearly and correctly use acceptable language, and follow the order of the agenda items set out. And if you cannot attend a meeting, send an apology. Feedback- it is essential that members both receive and give feedback. Through inviting and receiving and in giving feedback, members know whether others have understood what has been said. Questions- asking questions will often stimulate discussions, promote ideas and motivate members to get involved. Questions can also be used to clarify the understanding of issues. Summarise discussions and recap chairpersons and convenors need to recap discussions by summarising into a few sentences or points what has been said. By doing this not only brings the discussion to a close so that a new item on the agenda can commence, but summarises the discussion in point form or a few sentences for all members and the minute taker. Listening- careful listening is an essential responsibility for all members of the meeting. And one easy way to put this into practice is to paraphrase anothers discussion or statement or idea or comments. Non Verbal Language- this includes all body movement, touching behaviour, vocal qualities, use of space and environment, use of paralanguage (how something is said, not what is said). And all members will use nonverbal language and behaviour. It is the way you use your limbs, hands, heads, feet, body, legs, posture and facial expressions to enhance or hinder communication. As well, clothing style and appearance contributes to nonverbal messaging. The environment and location in which a meeting is held influences the meeting outcome- and can affect the climate of the meeting. Harmony- creating and maintaining a harmonious environment in a meeting only adds to the productivity and effectiveness of meetings. And it is the responsibility of the chairperson and all members to each contribute to this atmosphere. Communications skills to Enhance Meetings A high level of good communications skills used at meetings will assist in that meeting achieving the meeting outcomes, goals and objectives. People meet together in all organisations, both business and social, to exchange ideas and knowledge and to achieve outcomes. And an effective meeting enables decisions to be made that reflect the organisation and then these decisions can be implemented to the benefit and good of that organisation. Preparation- whether you are a member of a meeting or are the chairperson of a meeting, it is the responsibility of all members to attend meetings by being prepared for that meeting -you should know both the purpose of the meeting and be familiar with items on the agenda. It may involve researching or reading up on background information, or preparing a presentation or report. Participation- it is important to participate in a meeting in such a way that your contribution supports and enhances the meeting. Members should make suggestions, ideas, and be involved in the decision making and discussion that takes place. Distribute meeting minutes Once you have finalised the meeting minutes it is time to distribute them. Minutes should be circulated to all attendees and other relevant parties as soon as possible after the meeting. A guideline of two to three days is recommended for most circumstances, however your organisation may ha e specific guidelines. If the meeting in question was quite large, e.g. an annual general meeting, the minutes may take longer to circulate. They can be circulated in hard copy or via email depending on your business communication practices. Store meeting minutes There are varying requirements with regards to the storing of meeting minutes. This can depend on your organisations policies and procedures, applicable conventions and legal requirements. You need to ensure that you are aware of these requirements when storing meeting minutes for meetings that you have chaired. The most important requirements that you need to be aware of are legislative requirements which often set conditions regarding to how long records must be kept. For example, minutes from meetings such as safety committees, board meetings and annual general meetings have legislated requirements with regards to how long records of meeting minutes must be kept for. When determining the most appropriate method for storing minutes you should consider the following. Access Depending on the information contained in the minutes you may need to restrict access to copies. For example, minutes from senior management team meetings may need to be restricted due to the likelihood that they contain confidential information. Conversely, minutes from safety committees would need to accessible to all employees. You will need to consider who is authorised to access the minutes when determining the most appropriate storage method. Minutes containing confidential information may be saved in a secure folder, only accessible by password, or only accessible to certain users of the organisations network. Otherwise, minutes should be saved in a public folder that all employees are able to access. Hardcopy flies You may use a filing system to store meeting minutes in hard copy. Setting up a filing system is a simple process of deciding a logical sequence to keep the information. Example: Hardcopy Files Safety Committee Meeting Copy of all meeting minutes. Filed in date order. Team Meeting Copy of all meeting minutes. Filed in elate order. Department Managers Meetings Copy of all meeting minutes. Filed in elate order. In this example you have a separate folder for each meeting type. It might also be more appropriate to create sub files for each year. Electronic copies Because many organisations these days move away from paper-based filing to electronic filing, it might be appropriate to keep copies of all meeting minutes in an electronic file on your computer, CD-ROM, USB or other electronic devices. Keeping files in electronic format means that you can immediately transfer documents without having to print hard copies. If required you can scan other supporting documentation and save it in the same file. Electronic files are especially useful for distributing the meeting minutes to variety of people across multiple locations. It also improves the speed with which participants receive a copy of the minutes; email distribution is much quicker than hard copy postal options. Keeping electronic copies also means ease of access for future reference. One very important aspect of keeping electronic files is ensuring that the files are regularly backed up by other electronic storage devices. Many organisations complete regular back up of electronic storage systems, however, it is your responsibility to confirm when and how these backups are completed to ensure that your information is protected. File names When storing meeting minutes, either electronically or paper based, you will need to determine a file naming system. You should ensure that your file names are easily identifiable in relation to the meeting that the minutes have been taken for. Note: You should check that your organisation does not have policy regarding the way in which files are named. Some examples of file names you could use: safety committee meeting minutes 201X 201X meeting minutes -team meetings. Learning activity: Storing meeting minutes. What are some of the different storage methods you use currently or have used in the past to store meeting minutes? How did you determine how you would store this information? Report meeting outcomes The process for reporting meeting outcomes can vary depending on your organisation and the type of meeting. In some situations the outcomes are only communicated through the meeting minutes but in other circumstances there be requirements to report outcomes through other means. The following are some things to remember when reporting meeting outcomes. Report the outcomes to the people who need to know, e.g. managers, team members, clients, shareholders. Understand the timelines that apply and dont be late in providing the information. Provide the information in the appropriate format, e.g. meeting minutes, verbal update, email, presentation, etc. All meetings minutes should include: The name or type of the meeting, e.g. Staff meeting of AITE Date, time and venue of when and where the meeting was held A welcome or thanks by the chairperson or convenor A list of all present at the meeting A list of anyone that apologized for being absent called apologies received An acceptance and confirmation of the previous meeting minutes Notation on any matters that have arisen from the previous meeting minutes A list of any correspondence tabled at the meeting and its subsequent action Brief summary in relation to each of the items on the agenda and decision or action for each of these items Brief details about each report tabled Notation about each item of general business that is raised and discussed along with action or decisions made on each item Names of those who have accepted any tasks as a result of the meeting An accurate record of motions presented, along with names of movers and seconders Record of the number of votes for and against any motion presented The date, time and venue of when the next meeting is to be held The time the meeting closed. Below are examples of meetings and ways in which meeting outcomes can be reported: You should report the outcomes to the people who need to know, e.g. managers, team members, clients, shareholders; provide the information within designed timeline and in the appropriated format, e.g. meeting minutes, verbal update, email, presentation, etc. Outcomes may be reported in different ways and by different media (print or online), such as: annual reports other business reports articles for publication, either internal or external websites on the Internet for external users to view via the organisations intranet for internal notification emails summaries for presentations or conferences tender documents and contracts media releases Speeches. Type of Meeting Reporting Meeting outcomes Safety committee monthly meeting meeting minutes update provided to manager/supervisor Board meeting report provided to shareholders and employees Team meeting meeting minutes Management team meeting update provided to employees via email, newsletter or face-to-face Learning activity: Reporting meeting outcomes What are some examples, which you have witnessed in the workplace, of ways in which meeting outcomes have been reported? Detail the meeting and the way in which the outcomes were reported. Section summary You should now understand how to manage the activities that occur after a meeting to ensure that agreed actions are completed and discussions from the meeting are recorded and stored correctly. Further reading Dobson, A 1996, Managing meetings, How To Books Ltd, Plymouth. Munter, M and Netzley, M 2002, Guide to meetings, Prentice Hall, New Jersey. Section checklist Make sure that you are able to: check transcribed meeting minutes to ensure they reflect a true and accurate record of the meeting, and are formatted in accordance with organisational procedures and meeting conventions distribute and store follow-up documentation within designated timelines, and according to organisational requirements report outcomes of meetings as required, within designated timelines. Appendices Appendix 1- Meeting requirements questionnaire Meeting Requirements Questionnaire Chair Person/Host Depertment Meeting Name Meeting Details Date Time Location Budget Meeting Format Purpose Agenda Participants Internal External Speakers Seating Arrangements Video or Teleconference Requirements Supporting Materials Pre-Reading Meeting Documentation Equipment Requirements Hospitality Requirements Catering Requirements Accommodation Requirements Other Requirements Special Needs Of Attendees Other Specific Requirements Produce minutes that reflect a true and accurate account of the meeting. Minutes might be recorded directly into Personal Computer (PC), a laptop or scribed by hand and word processed later. If they are entered directly into a computer or laptop they can sometimes be printed and handed out at the completion of the meeting. So, too, can any notes, diagrams, graphs etc. that have been put up on an electronic whiteboard or a Smart Board. If minutes are transcribed at a later time, they must be checked for accuracy. They should be submitted for approval if necessary. Before distributing the minutes they should be proofread and checked to ensure that there are no errors including spelling and grammatical errors. Things to be done for finalizing the minutes: The chairperson should also check the minutes for accuracy and correctness. If the chairperson is not available, then the secretary or treasurer should be involved or if none of these people are available, someone else who attended this meeting. This helps eliminate mistakes and errors in the minutes. Things to be done for finalising the minutes are to: Use the specific meeting minute template and formats in consistence with the organisations policy and procedures, Check the typing against the original notes to ensure the reflection of the true and accurate records, Check with other participants if some details are missing, Take the correct layout and terms used in the minutes, Correct any spelling and grammar errors, Use the right line spacing, tab setting, bolding, italics and capitals in accordance with the organisations style guide. Check the minutes for: suitability of tone and communication style readability, grammar, spelling and sentence and paragraph construction sequencing and structure organisational requirements discriminatory language jargon that might not be understood by all stakeholders If the secretary or minute taker has transcribed technical terms or company jargon this should be checked to make sure that it is correct and will be understood by those who read the minutes. Minutes should be transcribed as soon as is practical after the closure of the meeting. Delay in word processing and checking accuracy allows time for meaning and understanding to be reduced. In the case of board meetings or meetings that are of extreme importance to the organisation it could be necessary for the chairperson or the organiser of the meeting to review the minutes for accuracy and for 2 other people who have attended the meeting to witness any corrections. In some organisations, meetings are digitally recorded at the time, using appropriate audio equipment. Minutes can then be written up after the meeting. This ensures accuracy. Minutes should contain identification data a description of the meeting purpose, name of the organisation, date and time, venue, name of the chair or facilitator, main topics and the time of adjournment, name of the secretary or minute taker, names of attendees and list of apologies. Formal and corporate meetings generally include approval of previous minutes and all resolutions. Dispatching copies Things to be done when distributing the minutes: Minutes and documentations should be circulated to all attendees and other relevant parties as soon as possible after the meeting. A guideline of two to three days is recommended for most circumstances, or following strictly the specific guideline of the organisation or legal requirement. They can be circulated in hard copy or via email depending on the organisations business communication practices. The chairperson must ensure that the relevant persons who are given an action are well informed. Why should everyone concerned have a copy of the minutes: to confirm their understanding of the issues, decisions and outcomes of the meeting so they can action any items that were allocated to themselves so they can check on the progress of other implementation needs, particularly those that will Impact on their own work so they can access the resources necessary to complete actionable items to check on their authority to perform specific duties to enable plans to be made that incorporate decisions made at the meeting so that each person is aware of any changes or new ideas so that open issues can be brought up for discussion at the next meeting All organisations will have specific guidelines with regard to dispatch timelines. It is, however, best that minutes be dispatched as soon as possible after the meeting while the meeting discussion is still fresh in the minds of attendees. In particular, if there are items that need to be actioned by attendees the minutes should be dispatched so that each person can check on what is required of them. Generally, meeting participants should receive their copy of the minutes within 1 week of the actual meeting. If, however, the meeting is, for instance, a regular weekly affair then minutes should be produced within 24 hours. Minutes might be distributed by electronic mail, letter, and fax or as hardcopy delivered to the personnel involved or left in pigeon holes. They could also be posted on noticeboards. In some cases the organisation will produce only 1 copy of the minutes with a cover sheet. On the cover sheet the staff who should read the minutes are listed and a sign-off section is included. The minutes are then passed around to the relevant personnel who sign the cover sheet to state that they have read, agree with and have understood the minutes. Each organisation will have either hardcopy or electronic files in which the minutes should be stored. This enables reference at later dates and more copies can be made as necessary. Report outcomes of meetings as required, within designated time lines In some instances, it might be necessary to report to senior management or to a CEO, the outcomes of a meeting. The minutes will be invaluable in determining what should be included in the report. Reports could be verbal and face-to-face, delivered over the telephone, as part of a video or teleconference or provided in written, hardcopy format. Format will be determined by the organisation for which you work. Reports might be made to the board, the manager, a CEO or to various stakeholders or shareholders. Minutes contribute to organisational records, organisational knowledge and to the communication processes of an organisation. Information contained in minutes can contribute to plans, goal setting and performance. Part 2: Assessment information Introduction to competency assessment To be assessed as competent, learners must under the guidance of qualified trainers and assessors provide evidence which demonstrates that they can perform to the necessary standard. An assessment of competence requires learners to consistently and over time demonstrate the skills, attitude and knowledge that enable confident completion of workplace tasks in a variety of situations. In judging evidence, the assessor must ensure that the evidence is: authentic (the candidates own work) valid (directly related to the current version of the relevant endorsed unit of competency) reliable (shows that the candidate consistently meets the endorsed unit of competency) current (reflects the candidates current capacity to perform the aspect of the work covered by the endorsed unit of competency), and sufficient (covers the full range of elements in the relevant unit of competency and addresses the four dimensions of competency, namely; task skills, task management skills, contingency management skills, and job/ role environment skills). Access and equity An individuals access to the assessment process should not be adversely affected by restrictions placed on the location or context of assessment beyond the requirements specified in the training package, Reasonable adjustments can be made to ensure equity in assessment for people with disabilities. Adjustments include any changes to the assessment process or context that meet the individual needs of the person with a disability, but do not change competency outcomes. Such adjustments arc considered reasonable if they do not impose an unjustifiable hardship on a training provider or employer. When assessing people with disabilities, assessors are encouraged to apply good practice assessment methods with sensitivity and flexibility. Assessors should also provide alternative assessment activities to address identified specific organisation requirements. The assessment process must: provide for valid, reliable, flexible and fair assessment provide for judgement to be made on the basis of sufficient evidence offer valid, authentic and current evidence include workplace requirements as suggested in the range of variables Part 3: Assessment tools Assessment tools in this learning guide The tools in this resource provide a foundation on which to build a comprehensive learning and assessment program. Trainers/ assessors will need to adapt or supplement these tools where appropriate. The assessment tools provided in this resource are: the assessment activities in the workbook the written/ oral questions in this section of the workbook the project(s) in this section of the workbook supervisor/ third party or assessor demonstration report Assessment tool 1(AT1): Assessment activities Assessment activities are designed to enable assessment against the performance criteria or a group of performance criteria within each element. In general, the assessment activities might consist of: questions assessing knowledge demonstration of skills case studies practical activities Responses to the assessment activities might be drawn from: the theory/ information contained in this resource additional reading and research supplementary materials provided by the trainer/ assessor practical experience The learner should complete the assessment activities as directed by the assessor. This may involve recording responses in this workbook or providing responses in a different format, e.g. in a word processed document. Feedback The assessment activities should become part of a formative assessment. The RTO and its trainers/ assessors should have processes in place to provide feedback and reinforcement to learners as they progress though the activities and assessment processes. This is a commercial publication designed to cover a range of industry sectors and organisations. The trainer/ assessor should therefore consider each activity in the context of the specific industry sector and/or organisation and make adjustments or contextualize as necessary. Access and equity issues should also be considered. Assessment tool 2 (AT2): Written/ oral questions Written/ oral questions are designed to enable assessment of the required knowledge. Where appropriate they may also enable assessment of elements and performance criteria As with assessment activities responses might be drawn from: the theory/ Information contained in this resource additional reading and research supplementary materials provided by the trainer/ assessor practical experience As with assessment activities, the learner should present responses as directed by the assessor. Trainers/ assessors might develop additional questions to elicit more detailed responses. Alternative questioning methods might also be used where access and equity issues need to be considered. Assessment tool 3 (AT3): Project(s) Project(s) are designed to enable holistic assessment of the unit of competency if possible. The trainer/ assessor should consider each project in the context of the specific industry sector and/or organisation and make adjustments or contextualise as necessary. Access and equity issues should also be considered. Additional projects may also be required. Assessment tool 4 (AT4): Supervisor/ third party or assessor demonstration report Where the learner is in employment this report should be completed by the learners supervisor, an appropriate third party or the assessor. The trainer/ assessor needs to ensure that the supervisor/ third party/ assessor understands that they must confirm they have observed the learner performing the tasks associated with the elements, performance criteria, critical aspects for assessment and required skills in an efficient manner consistently and over a period of time. They also need to record the context in which the learner was observed and detail any evidence that has been provided. Where the learner is not in employment and where this resource is used in face-to-face delivery or distance mode, assessors may use this tool to record any simulated demonstrations they have observed that provide evidence the learner can perform the tasks associated with the elements, performance criteria, critical aspects for assessment and required skills in an efficient manner. Other assessment activities Other assessment activities determined by an assessor could include any of the range of assessment activities listed as examples appropriate for this unit under method of assessment in the unit information section of this learner guide e.g. provision of portfolio of evidence. Trainers/ assessors should ensure that the training and formative and summative assessments they use sufficiently address: the relevant performance criteria critical aspects for assessment the required skills and knowledge the context and consistency of the assessment requirements the relevant employability skills Trainers/ assessors should ensure that the learner fully understands the assessment process and the assessment tasks that need to be undertaken. This can be documented on the assessment cover sheet supplied in this learner guide. Assessment tool 2 (AT2): Written/ oral questions Learners should answer the following questions either orally or in writing as agreed with the trainer/ assessor. Written responses may be recorded in the space provided or entered in a word processing document. If more space is required attach additional pages, Why is it important to create a meeting agenda that reflects the style and structure of the meeting and to send it, together with any papers, to all participants? What items should be included on an agenda? The agenda should mirror the tone and style that the chairperson wishes to set for the actual meeting. It should be sent in good time so that participants have time understand why they have been asked to attend and to prepare themselves. Items on agenda might include: Welcome Minutes of the previous meeting Matters or business arise from the minutes Correspondence Reports Major agenda items, presenters (where relevant) General business Questions/ new ideas/ participant input Date of next meeting close What are the attributes of an effective and efficient meeting? What are the responsibilities of the chairperson in a meeting? An effective and efficient meeting is one that is well chaired so that customers are achieved, ethics are observed and organizational requirements met. A good meeting enables each person to contribute fully and uses an appropriate style to achieve what is needed. The chairperson convenes the meeting, introduces the agenda and keeps discussion in line with the agenda, the chairperson can be elected or appointed and should be able to control the meeting so the time spent is not wasted time and discussions do not move across to inconsequential or irrelevant tangents. Whenever a discussion goes on for longer than it should, or goes off topic, the chairperson should call the meeting back to order. If new ideas or problems, not related to the agenda, are brought up, the chairperson can ensure that they are placed on the agenda for the next meeting. The chairperson should also ensure that the minutes for the upcoming meeting will be taken appropriately. How does briefing the minute taker prior to the meeting improve efficiency? What information should be included in minutes? Why is it important to check minutes, distribute them and make any necessary reports as soon as possible after the meeting? If the minute taker knows what he/she has to do before the meeting starts they are less likely to make mistakes, have to rewrite the minutes and are more likely to ensure that the critical points are recorded? Minutes should include: Issues for discussion. It is important to include the issues that were discussed at the meeting even if there were no decisions taken about them. This ensures that they do not get lost and that it is easier to pick up later on these issues. Decisions. Decisions must be clearly noted so that everybody is aware of the decision and so that there is written record. Human memory and human perception are notoriously unreliable and it is not productive for later meetings to be concerned with trying to come to consensus on just what an earlier decision was. Actions. Record the actions that will happen as a result of the decision. Regarding the action allow you to check whether the actions have been followed through. Timelines. It is also important to indicate a timeline by which actions must be completed. This again allows you to check whether the action has occurred within the set timelines. Persons responsible for the actions. A person or a group of people must carry out the actions that flow from decisions. By recording this information in the minutes there should be little doubt about who is responsible. This allows for checking that the decision has been implemented. Far too often, organizations record this basic, yet vital, information and then spend unproductive time working out whether analysis has happened- or not. The sooner after the meeting are checked and reports made the greater the likelihood of accuracy as, over time we tend to forget things. It is important to send minutes out to meeting participants as soon as practical after the meeting so that they are reminded to action any items they are responsible for. There are a number of key provisions of relevant legislation and regulations from all levels of government that that may affect aspects of business operations, such as: anti-discrimination legislation ethical principles codes of practice privacy laws financial legislation occupational health and safety (OHS) legislation consumer law credit procedures legislation and regulations Why does the chairperson need to understand group dynamics when chairing a meeting? There is raft of legislation that surrounds organisation that are involved in business. Some of this legislation is specific to one area of business operation but others are generic. You are not expected to be a lawyer but you are required to have a level of knowledge commensurate with your role in the organisation. In other words, the level of knowledge of the relevant legislation that you require as a client representative would be far less than the expected of the manager in charge of compliance. Your organisation will have access to all of the relevant legislation and should keep you informed of your responsibilities to the organisation, its customers and what you need to do ensure compliance. Failure to comply with the legislation can have consequence for your personality and for your organisation. Why does the chairperson need to understand group dynamics when chairing a meeting? As the chairperson has identified the people who need to be at the meeting, it allows that a successful meeting will require the involvement of all attendees. As a facilitator the chairperson should make sure that each person has a change to actively participate. They cannot rely in this occurring naturally. Every meeting will have shy or quiet people who are resistant to participate and dominant personalities that will want to participate at the expense of others. The chairperson needs to ensure that everyone gets equal time. Why is it important to have diversity in teams and amongst employees? Why do you need to be aware of culturally appropriate techniques when communicating with people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse abilities? Teams/workforces should consist of people with different backgrounds and experience rather than similar people. Diverse teams/workforces can take longer to bond, but ultimately they have a much richer and wider pool of experience to draw upon. This allows staff to work to their strengths and interests, making them happier and more fulfilled. By contrast, teams of similar people can be quite uncreative in the way they approach problems, reducing effectiveness. People from different cultural backgrounds will have different customs and expectations will manifest in a variety of ways. For instance, some Japanese and some Sub original people do not like to make eye contact when speaking with others as it is considered rude. Australian men will shake hands when meeting their colleagues or acquaintances whilst in some Eastern and European cultures it is customary for men to kiss each other on the cheek. In some cultures it is considered wrong to make physical contact with women. For some workers, English will not be their first language, where this is the case, documents may need to be translated into the workers first language. In other instances, translator will need to be used. As such, employees should be aware of and use culturally appropriate techniques when dealing with people from diverse backgrounds if they want to communicate effectively. Other workers may have physical disabilities, such as blindness or deafness. Hearing impaired or deaf meeting participants will benefit from sign language interpreters. These interpreters should understand that the information they translate is confidential, as the information being discussed can be sensitive or classified. Translators should also translate without interposing personal options. Alternately, a deaf loop system can be installed. Participants who are blind or vision impaired should be provided with written material that has been translated into Braille. Assessment tool 3 (AT3): Project(s) Learners should undertake the following project(s) as directed by the trainer/ assessor. Project 1 A management meeting for 12 section managers is due to be held on Tuesday, 24 November commencing at 9.30am and finishing at 4.00pm. The CEO of the company will attend. The meeting is usually held in the boardroom at the companys offices but this room is unavailable. You will need to make alternative arrangements. Two of the managers will be coming from interstate to attend in person, while 3 will participate via teleconference. A guest speaker will show a video and talk on technological changes for the year 2007. Lunch will be catered for on the premises. In the afternoon, the participants will divide into 3 groups to develop ideas and consider their strategic needs for the upcoming year. Write out a meeting plan to ensure that all the preparations for the meeting will be correctly organised. Meeting plan should include: Name of participants Style and structure of the meeting New venue- site check to ensure suitability Start and finish times Accommodation arrangements for interstate and country members Refreshment- lunch Chairperson Special considerations Set- up of all equipment for video conference Other equipment- laptops, PowerPoint, video equipment How, when and who will confirm all details Create an agenda for the meeting Plan for distributing the agenda Notes and/or handouts Selection of secretary/minute taker Briefing of secretary/minute taker Procedures for processing, checking and distributing minutes Reports to be made after the meeting Reference: Dobson, A., 1996, managing meetings: How to prepare, how to take part, /how to follow up effectively, How to Books, Plymouth, p. 101. Aspire Training and Consulting: BSBADM502B Manage Meeting IBSA: BSBADM502B Manage Meeting, Student Workbook Small Print: BSBADM502B Manage Meeting Precision Group (Australia) Pty Ltd, BSBADM502B Manage Meeting

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