people

Most meetings need people playing four roles

Most meetings need people playing four roles:

1-Leader convenes the meeting

2-Facilitator keeps discussion and decision-making process moving along

3-Recorder takes notes on paper, laptop or on flip charts

4-Timekeeper reminds leader when time almost up for a given item.

Make sure these roles are assigned prior to a meeting

Leader role

The leader convenes the meeting and takes responsibility for communication before and after. The leader may lead discussion on all items or may ask others, including a facilitator, to lead all or parts of the meeting. This enables the leader to be a full participant in discussions.

Facilitator role

The facilitator keeps the discussion and decision-making process moving along. The facilitator takes responsibility for the process, but should not be involved in the content of the meeting. A facilitator is especially useful if the leaders holds a very strong opinion on an agenda item. Having a facilitator enables the leader to be a full participant.

Recorder role

The recorder takes notes on paper, laptop or on flip charts. Meeting notes should be distributed as soon after the meeting as possible. The longer the lag, the less confidence the members have that their investment will result in action. For groups that meet regularly, the recorder is responsible for keeping previous meeting notes and agendas in one place where they can be referenced later, such as through a shared network drive or a notebook, etc.

Timekeeper

The timekeeper reminds leader when time almost up for a given item. A stop watch or small clock is invaluable

Helping People to Contribute Effectively During Meetings

There are many reasons for non-participation during meetings including lack of preparation, shyness, being overawed by rank or someone’s specialist knowledge, being put off by another’s aggressiveness or dominant behaviour or just pure laziness.

To draw out the silent type and protect them from intimidation it might be helpful to ask questions that tap their expertise, praise their good ideas, openly note their contributions, call on those that are shy or junior first.

Of course you may also have to limit the long winded. This can be done by setting the ground rules at the start including how long any one person can speak for at a time. You should also request that remarks be confined to the topic of discussion. If someone still insists on an opera length speech you may have to tactfully but firmly insist that you move on.

It is equally important to remain focused on the agenda and what needs to be achieved. To do this you will want to summarise progress and remind everyone of the meeting’s objectives. You will also have to interrupt if the discussion gets out of hand, off topic, too heated or rowdy. Act quickly if a serious disagreement arrises.

Sometimes a participant may have something worthy to contribute but may not be the best public speaker. At such times it is the chair’s job to rescue that person by helpfully summating what they think he/she was trying to say.

As the meeting chair you should work to encourage diverse points of view, especially if it is a problem solving or brainstorming session. Well run meetings enable a group of people to achieve more than the sum of their individual efforts, through the creation of synergy and the combination of their collective expertise.

As the chair you should encourage all opinions and perspectives to be explored but be prepared to hightlight bias and oversights. Some participants will need to broaden their viewpoints while others must be encouraged to be more realistic.

To generate ideas you may want to try brainstorming, asking open questions (ones that cannot be simply answered by yes or no), encourage partial ideas, reserve your own ideas until the end, clarify and paraphrase for others (make sure you ask them to confirm that you have it right), and the use of verbal and non-verbal reinforcement.

Non-verbal Messages Allow People To:

Non-verbal Messages Allow People To:

      -Reinforce or modify what is said in words. For example, people may nod their heads vigorously when saying “Yes” to emphasise that they agree with the other person, but a shrug of the shoulders and a sad expression when saying “I’m fine thanks,” may imply that things are not really fine at all!

 

      -Convey information about their emotional state.

 

      -Define or reinforce the relationship between people.

 

      -Provide feedback to the other person.

 

    -Regulate the flow of communication, for example by signalling to others that they have finished speaking or wish to say something.

Non-verbal Messages Allow People To

Interpersonal communication not only involves the explicit meaning of words, the information or message conveyed, but also refers to implicit messages, whether intentional or not, which are expressed through non-verbal behaviours.

Non-verbal communications include facial expressions, the tone and pitch of the voice, gestures displayed through body language (kinesics) and the physical distance between the communicators (proxemics). These non-verbal signals can give clues and additional information and meaning over and above spoken (verbal) communication.

Non-verbal Messages Allow People To:

      Reinforce or modify what is said in words. For example, people may nod their heads vigorously when saying “Yes” to emphasise that they agree with the other person, but a shrug of the shoulders and a sad expression when saying “I’m fine thanks,” may imply that things are not really fine at all!

 

      Convey information about their emotional state.

 

      Define or reinforce the relationship between people.

 

      Provide feedback to the other person.

 

    Regulate the flow of communication, for example by signalling to others that they have finished speaking or wish to say something.

handling disagreements with people

Here are her tips on how to approach a disagreement, find a solution and get past it.

1. Identify your conflict style
Knowing how you typically deal with disagreements will help you identify how you might want to approach conflict differently in the future.

“There are five different ways of dealing with conflict: competing, collaborating, compromising, avoiding and accommodating,” says Coltsmann. “The truth is, there are no right or wrong ways. It depends on the situation and an individual’s skills in using one of the conflict modes.”

2. Think about your past disagreements
When you find yourself in a disagreement, do you usually try to talk the problem out with the other party in hopes of finding a solution? Or do you tend to let the other person have his or her way if it will mean avoiding further conflict?

“If you find yourself relying on one mode continuously, it’s important to try to learn about some different approaches,” explains Coltsmann. “Changing behaviour is not the easiest, but you can learn new skills through a process of awareness and practice.”

Listen to what your gut is telling you — your first instinct is usually right. Allow your instinct to be the voice that guides your next steps.

3. Step away from the situation for awhile
In order to respond to a disagreement with a level head, you may need to remove yourself from the conflict so you can consider your options in peace. It’s important to approach the situation as if it is a problem that needs to be solved, rather than something to get angry about.

“The most important step in any disagreement or conflict situation is to create a shared understanding of what’s going on, bringing the views, ideas and opinions of everyone out into the open,” says Coltsmann. “It’s time to gather facts, verify assumptions and seek clarification — and, most importantly, it’s time to suspend judgment.”