Meetings are regarded as one of the best ways of achieving several activities at once. In one meeting, the leader can pass his or her information, identify challenges, find solutions, and make the final decision. To have better results of any meeting, it’s advisable to follow some steps when conducting it. Productive meetings require good and early planning, positive attitude, a purpose, and a committed leader. This paper will discuss the steps to be followed to have an effective meeting, and meeting leadership. Before a person leads a meeting, there are some leadership responsibilities he or she should fulfill for the meeting to be effective. Meeting leadership requires one to conduct thorough research on the requirement of the organization, and be aware of the best result that can be obtained in a meeting.
When this research is done, then the meeting can be called (Bell and Smith 98). Sometimes if the main theme of calling the meeting is just passing certain information, the leader can as well find other ways of communicating this. Meeting should only be called when there is a dire need for communication. The other responsibility of a meeting leader is to be prepared. Thorough preparation of the meeting is required from the time the attendees are informed to the time of conducting the meeting. The leader has a responsibility of informing his or her team about the meeting at least 48 hours before the time of starting the meeting. Let the attendees be aware of the meeting purpose before they gather for discussion.
The third important responsibility to be accountable in meeting leadership is for the leader to be strong and someone with acceptance in him or her (Bell and Smith 463). The strength of the leader should be demonstrated when planning for the meeting, when deciding the most appropriate format, and his or her emphasis on the meeting agenda. Acceptance is applied by involving the attendees to contribute freely in the discussion. This should not be dictated by the position of the meeting leader, but should be open to all the participants. The leader should apply tactics of inviting input from all the attendees, and filter the ideas of those people who like talking too much. By doing this, everyone in the meeting will have a chance to contribute and be heard by the rest. To begin with, the meeting leader should decide in advance both mission and vision of the meeting before tabling it. This includes the main purpose of the meeting at that very moment and the future perspective of it (Streibel 51).
The meeting leader should have all this written down to avoid any confusion during the meeting. Being the leader, one cannot handle the meeting alone, so the next step is to decide who will be taking the minutes during discussion. The next step is for the leader to define the needed people in the meting. He or she should ensure that all parties are represented; this enables all the grievances to be tabled without favoring a certain group. Let the meeting leader as well decide the starting time of the meeting and the ending time. This helps in fully utilizing the available time for the meeting and tackling of all agendas (Streibel 21). After deciding the time, the leader should write down the meeting agendas, mission and vision of the meeting, beginning and ending time, the people expected to attend, and any other relevant information and pre-distribute to the attendees. The venue of the meeting should also be included on this paper.
Giving the attendees the meeting agenda in advance, prepares them psychologically on the matters to be discussed thus very active in contributing the ideas. While setting up the venue, a spacious and comfortable room would be the best. A conducive atmosphere in the room would be necessary to give the attendants chance to interact. Suitable refreshment should be provided to avoid boredom in the room.
We assume now the day has arrived for the meeting and it’s the time for it to begin. The meeting leader should greet and welcome people to the meeting. Incases where it’s the first meeting and people are not familiar with one another an individual self-introduction should be done shortly (Bell and Smith 130). This brings in the aspect of socializing among the attendees, as they have known each other. The next step is opening the floor by a short speech that should include matters like, all ideas are good, anyone is free to disagree with any suggested idea with a reason behind, thus making everyone free to propose or oppose according to his or her wishes. This now comes the time for the leader to go through the agenda items one after the other. After mentioning the first agenda, the leader should invite different views from the attendees and creativity.
Incase there is any need of demonstration; there should be enough room for doing it to enhance good results. The responsibility of the leader should be to list all the ideas on a board where everyone can see, but the name of the person who contributed should not be included. Later the ideas with the least gaps and have higher chances of succeeding should be agreed upon by the leader and his or her team in the meeting. Incase there is still some information needed, the leader should come up with a group of people among the attendees to follow up (Streibel 32). If a decision have been made also set a group to prepare a report to be brought back to the meeting. At this point some action items should be identified, to have the first priority in the next meeting.
As the meeting leader approaches the terminal of his or her meeting, some time should be preserved for anyone with questions. All the ideas that have been discussed should be summarized and be read to the people. Before closing the meeting, follow up is a very important aspect that should never be forgotten. The meeting leader should take his or her time alone to evaluate the whole meeting.
Its time to tick what worked out and what is still calling for some improvements. Through the use of the minute written another document should be generated to give a full description of the meeting (Bell and Smith 418). This can be achieved by use of negative or positive comments, posing questions, criticizing, and recommending ensuring that document is of quality. When he or she is through with this, all the participants should be given a copy each. Keeping an eye on the progress of the next moves is also very crucial. These items take the place of next meetings agenda number one.
The leader can now thank everyone for participating and actively contributing to the discussion and close the meeting.
Bell, Arthur and Smith, Dayle. Management Communication, (2nd ed), ISBN0471755249, 9780471755241, John Wiley and Sons, New York, 2005. Streibel, Barbara. Plan and Conduct Effective Meetings: 24 Steps to Generate Meaningful Results, ISBN0071498311, 9780071498319, McGraw-Hill Professional, New York, 2007.