Purpose of Meetings

What is a Meeting?
A meeting is where a group of people come together to discuss issues, to improve communication, to promote coordination or to deal with any matters that are put on the agenda and to help get any jobs done. For any meeting to be successful it needs the support of the group involved, or the organisation behind it and it must have the intention of achieving some goal or objective.

Purpose of Meetings
You have to be very clear on why you are calling a meeting. That is, you have to be very clear on what you want to accomplish and why you are bringing together the group of people that have been invited.

Meetings are held for any of the following reasons:

  • To sort out any conflicts.
  • To negotiate a contract or agreement, or matters to do with it.
  • To deal with a current problem within the group or within the business or organisation.
  • To receive a report for assessment and review.
  • To supply information to those present or to canvas views of those present on the particular matter at hand.
  • To put forward ideas or systems for consideration and for implementation.
  • To deal with any matters at all concerning a business, or group, or organisation.

Characteristics of a Good Meeting
The following can be held to be the characteristics of any good meeting:

  • It is well organised.
  • The chairman has full control.
  • Everyone present will contribute to the matter at hand.
  • Everyone feels happy and comfortable being there.
  • Any conflicts or bad feeling are soon dealt with.
  • Actual decisions are made on the issues put on the table.
  • Those present are encouraged to openly put forward their views.
  • The meeting is short and to the point.
  • All matters on the agenda are dealt with.

Making Meetings Run Well
Here are some suggestions that contribute to making meetings much more effective:

  • Have a good chairperson who is experienced enough to lead the meeting.
  • Have an agenda which has previously been sent out to all those invited, so all are clear on what is going to be dealt with.
  • Try and encourage everyone to contribute to the matters at hand.
  • Make sure that everyone is committed to action so decisions are actually made.
  • Whatever is discussed, make sure realistic goals are set.
  • If the matters to be discussed are complex, make sure there is enough background information for support.
  • If anyone is giving a presentation, make sure that the person has rehearsed the presentation, using proper visual material.
  • Make sure the meeting has a starting time and finishing time and that the chairman sticks to it.
  • Make it very clear from the beginning what the meeting is to achieve.
  • Limit the number of people at the meeting who are passive listeners only and don’t enter into discussions, or contribute.
  • Make sure that participants are casually dressed so all barriers are broken down and people will be able to mix and relax.
  • Make sure that everyone leaves the meeting totally clear on what has been dealt with and that everyone has a plan of action to achieve whatever the meeting has agreed should be achieved.