Critical Thinking : Ensuring That Meetings Lead To Action

Assignment Instructions

Think back to a recent meeting you attended that was not effective. A good meeting planner, can overcome this inertia by performing four steps: (Barrett, 2014, p. 303-304)

  1.  Assign specific tasks to specific people.
  2. Review all actions and responsibilities at the end of the meeting.
  3. Provide a meeting summary with assigned deliverables included.
  4. Follow up on action items in a reasonable time.

Explain each of these steps and describe how it could be implemented to improve the meetings effectiveness. Be sure to clearly articulate the strategy to resolve the conflict.

Here are some questions to consider when writing  your paper: (not required)

  1. Who called the meeting?
  2. What was it about?
  3. Was there an agenda?
  4. Was the purpose of the meeting accomplished?
  5. After the meeting, were minutes distributed that outlined tasks and deadlines?
  6. During the meeting, what role did you play all or most of the time (leader, scribe, facilitator, etc.)?
  7. What could have been done to make the meeting more effective?

Refer to this week’s readings for more information on the four steps. Your paper should be 3-4 pages in length, in APA style with appropriate references.

Planning an Effective Meeting – Sample Answer

Meetings have various functions and roles. They update members on current events and give them a chance to communicate and have cohesive group. Above all, most meeting serves to help members to pull resources together for purpose of decision-making. If a meeting is started with a good plan and finished up with a good follow up, then it is said to be successful, (Winter, C., 1994).

A good meeting planner should assign specific tasks to specific people. When tasks are delegated, it ensures the meeting concentrates on important deliverables. Meetings involve many tasks including arranging of meeting place, confirming of attendance by members and the tasks involved when the meeting is in progress. In order to achieve effective task assignment, one should assign tasks, to specific people to;

  • Arrange a meeting place, physical arrangement of the venue, facilities and equipment should be put in place.
  • There must be enough furniture as well as ensuring adequate lighting
  • The equipment should be testing to ensure they are working before the start of the meeting, not forgetting power point.
  • Some people should be assigned tasks of distributing meeting agenda. All these go in a long way in ensuring that the meeting runs smoothly, avoids disruptions, in addition, saves on time.

The roles should be well assigned; there should be chairperson, secretary and treasurer. Chairperson acts as a facilitator, secretary takes record of proceedings and treasure is tasked with taking care of the finances.

Read also Ways To Improve Productivity of Your Meetings

Tasks assignment helps in making the meeting organized, this is the main objective. An organized meeting provides easy review and encourages members to be attending future meetings since it sticks to assigned time plan and deals with specific defined agenda.

A review of all the actions and responsibilities should be done at the end of the meeting. This will help to find out if the objectives were met and asses how effective the meeting was, i.e. a review should check if the meeting stuck to the agenda, (Streibel, B. J., 2003). A review seeks to ask for clarifications on how to handle particular part of the meeting next time, it is seeking for improvement. When conducting a review, one should allow feedback and that such feedback should be integrated in future meetings. If feedback is not integrated, it may discourage future suggestions on how to improve future meetings since members will feel neglected, (Harvard business review on effective communication., 1999). A review of responsibilities may reveal areas of improvement by those who under performed. Review provides for an opportunity to add greater responsibilities to more staff in order to make subsequent meetings even more effective.

After a meeting has been concluded, a meeting summary should be provided alongside assigned deliverables. A meeting summary takes the form of minutes. Minutes should be prepared and distributed 3 – 4 days after the meeting, quick action on deliverables as captured in the meeting reduces memory errors. The deliverables are clear suggestions and resolutions the meeting reached at, that must be met. Meeting summary also serve as a reminder to the members on what was discussed and this aids in keeping members updated and helps them in tracking the progress of deliverables reached at.

The summary also provides the people who were assigned the deliverables. This will make it easier for the members to track the progress and monitor to check if the deliverables are met. It also makes it easier to evaluate such tasks in future meetings. Deliverables are common in meetings because of resolutions from the members. So meetings make suggestions on what to be done before the next meeting and this are documented for implementation as well as follow up.

As pointed in the previous paragraph, many meetings will make suggestions and recommendations, which must be implemented. These tasks should be followed up to ensure they are performed in line with set out time framework.

In conclusion, an effective meeting should have clearly expressed agenda. Agenda should be distributed before the meeting starts. An effective meeting should achieve its purpose, it should centre on the agenda and nothing more, (Streibel, B. J., 2003). After the meeting is over, a review should be conducted and suggestions integrated to improve the next meeting. Minutes should also be distributed utmost a week later after the meeting.

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