A successful meeting has various elements which are important. In part 2 of this series we look at some of the softer elements that are required.
1. Balance the contributions
For any meting to be successful all voices must be heard. No matter what your disposition is you need to let each different diverse opinion be heard and let the meeting decide what is best. Of course there will be some opinions that must not be entertained, such opinions must be respectfully corrected without too much fuss. A chairperson must not be seen to be taking sides but must be seen to be fair.
2. Let the most senior contribute last or in between after different views
If a meeting has been graced by senior people who have higher positions never let them be first to speak their opinion as this would disrupt the other attendants from contributing meaningfully. Only pick on the senior people to speak after the different opposing views have been heard this will drown the seniority of the person. If you were to pick the most senior person first then the others might be intimidated from voicing their opinions.
3. Be firm but do not be a dictator
Meetings must be held with the utmost respect possible between members. Respect means not allowing for insults, innuendos, rumors, sarcasm or any other types of behavior which can result in the disruption of the meeting. The chairperson must be able to bring the meeting to order.
4. Allow for in between meeting breaks
Long meetings can occur once in a while and when they do happen allow for meeting breaks. Meetings breaks can be for ten minutes or so to allow for people to make their calls, visit the bathroom, or just exercise their feet. Meeting breaks are healthy for the meeting and are deemed courteous. A non-stop marathon will normally tire the brain and the participants will end up not really contributing effectively
5. Never let the emotional person speak first
If you let the emotional person speak first they will charge the climate or discussion such that the meeting takes a depressed or highly charged tone. Let the most calm person speak or let the balanced person speak first. Let your introductions not imply anything but let the introduction be factual.