Meetings serve as important avenues for discussing important organizational, family, or group issues. Through meetings, people can generate constructive ideas as well as solving interpersonal issues affecting their relationships (Laws, 2001). Moreover, meetings improve communication efforts which form the foundation of work groups. The paper seeks to introduce and examine two different meetings and offers recommendations for best practices to be applied in future meetings.
At the workplace, employees hold regular staff meetings where they meet with their manager to discuss issues concerning the department including strategies to improve productivity. The meetings create forums to discuss matters like policy change and disciplinary procedures. The forum also provides an opportunity to discuss disagreements over interpersonal issues which may occur during daily interactions. The monthly meetings are often led by the department manager who provides a monthly schedule and the agenda.
Characteristics of the Meeting
One important element of the staff meetings is early scheduling. Early notification of the meeting date is essential to enable members to plan accordingly thus encouraging full attendance. ()The staff meetings are often scheduled ahead of time to allow members to anticipate and plan accordingly. The manager communicates the meeting dates approximately two weeks prior to enable us to plan and efficiently. Every member of the department is then required to provide their input based on their schedules. He examines our responses to come up with (word choice) a convenient date for every member. This way, the manager ensures everyone who attends the meeting is prepared.
Timekeeping is always an essential component of the staff meetings. (Why? What evidence from the readings do you have to support his claim?)The leader often reminds members of the date and time of the meeting to ensure everyone shows up on time (word choice). As the leader of the meeting, the manager sets an example by arriving on time. The manager also ensures that the meeting is started exactly as scheduled; hence, late comers often miss out on some important issues. As such, it encourages tardy attendees to make an effort and adjust their timing. Moreover, starting the meeting on time and being prompt demonstrates the importance of the meeting. Punctuality of members demonstrates how committed they are to the meeting as a component of organizational activities.
Third, the manager often prepares the meeting agenda to lead the discussion. The meeting acts as a forum where members discuss general departmental issues; hence, everyone comes with their information to share. Therefore, the leader prepares an agenda to act as a guideline and bring structure and order to the meeting. Thus, the leader can keep the meeting on track (word choice) especially when someone offers information that is off the topic. Having an agenda for the meeting also demonstrates its importance and distinguishes it from an informal one (David, 2005). Additionally, they serve as an important source for documentation of the proceeding. They act as handy (word choice) record keeping where the leader can review and determine the topics that have been covered. Moreover, the records can be used as a point of reference to ensure everyone heeds to the issues discussed.
Another important property of staff meetings is the mandatory attendance. The meetings are often conducted to share and communicate important issues concerning the productivity of the department. Moreover, the staff members who are the main participants get to contribute by offering their unique views about the topic and listen to the discussion. Therefore, the leader makes it a mandatory requirement for everyone to attend. As the leader, the manager makes it an exception to grant permission to those who would like to ship (????) Meeting for another job commitment.
As the leader, the manager monitors the meeting to ensure everything remains professional and respectful. During the discussion, most members tend to share personal insights and opinions which may hurt others. For example, some members discuss their personal differences regarding their work relationships during staff meetings. As such, the meeting is turned into a conflict resolution forum at the expense of productive agendas. Therefore, the leader moderates the meeting by controlling the type of insights and opinions to be shared (Films for Humanities & Science, 1998). Moreover, some employees are very passionate about their views and, thus, tend to be defensive when opposed. Such situations may escalate to quarrels and lead the group away from the main agenda. Therefore, the leader ensures everyone remains professional by reminding members to respect everyone’s opinion. Professionalism also encourages active participation of every individual by sharing their (His or her) opinion so that the stronger personalities do not dominate the discussion
Community Service Meeting
Community service meeting is an informal meeting held by youths from the community to help the old (word choice)as well as other services like cleaning. The meetings are held randomly to discuss the location and the kind of service to be offered. Although the group has a chairman, there are no procedures or policies in place to determine who leads the meeting on any specific occasion. In that sense, any member is capable of conducting or leading the discussion. Since it mainly consists of youths, the meetings are organized through social media and other interactive platforms. For example, any member can identify a location of a particular community where cleaning is required. The member then creates an event on Facebook and mobilizes people to attend.
One characteristic of the community service meetings is a lack of planning. The meetings are often impromptu where any member can decide an agenda and mobilize others to attend. Moreover, the group lacks an administrative structure consisting of managers, executives, and secretaries. Therefore, members can discuss other issues irrelevant to the main agenda. It effectively acts as a forum for getting together as friends where people get to express their nostalgia. For example, most members come from different locations and only meet occasionally. Lack of planning also makes it easy for members to explore and develop creative ideas that would help grow the group. With no restriction as to what to be discussed, anyone has the chance express his or her opinions in the best-preferred way (Vague) (Laws, 2001).
Second, the meeting often catches people off guard (Colloquial). Since there is no planning, the leader does not issue a prior notice as to what to expect or when. Most of the meetings are held online where anyone who comes up with (word choice) an idea can request others’ opinions. Therefore, people are not given a chance to contemplate on the agenda and generate opinions. Although it limits the degree of topic coverage, it gives people an opportunity to be creative rather than relying on a prepared script. Having random meetings also helps generate clear and honest opinions. For example, when discussing issues affecting the group, people tend to hide their personal opinions to avoid opposition. However, random meetings give people a chance to express their honest opinions and their actual feelings towards others. Therefore, it is necessary for solving interpersonal issues affecting members during their interactions. (Support these claims with evidence.)
Third, the meetings do not often require a high-up (word choice) executive to be the leader. Moreover, the meetings are held without the presence of the chairman. Therefore, any member is viable to lead the discussion. For example, at times the meetings are held in the WhatsApp group where everyone has administrator privileges and is able to conduct the meeting to completion. As such, it eliminates the fear of being kicked out when one goes off-track(Revise for tone.) or does not adhere to the rules of the group. Moreover, having a high-up (word choice) executive as the group leader imposes the fear of discrimination. Some leaders may have a pre-determined opinion about particular members of the group. This may arise from personal vendetta between the two or incitement from other members. As a result, the leader may be biased toward that particular member hence limiting his ability to participate in the meeting actively. Therefore, lack of a high-executive as a leader encourages active participation allowing every member to express their opinion as they deem fit. (What evidence do you have to support this claim? Provide it here.)Thus, the forum helps generate valuable ideas necessary for improving its performance.
Fourth, the meetings require less documentation in the form of written memos, reports, or minutes. They are often held online with no appointed Secretary or official to record the meeting proceedings. Furthermore, it involves few agendas where people meet to discuss how to accomplish a specific task. For example, the main agenda is to determine the location for the community service, time, and venue to meet. However, members can always go back (word choice) and refer to the chat history for confirmation or reference purposes. Nonetheless, recording the proceedings consumes a lot (word choice) of time especially when the secretary reports late to the meeting thus limiting the topic coverage. This is because recording the minutes requires that the proceeding of the previous meetings be read and highlighted in the present session before proceeding to the agenda. Clearly, the meeting cannot start without the presence of the secretary or individual in charge of recording the minutes.
Comparison of the Characteristics
(This entire section seems very repetitive. You already provided all of this information. Either clarify why this is new information or eliminate in favor of additional evidence/claims.)
The two meetings are of different types. The first one is aimed at improving organizational management and can, thus, be referred to as a formal meeting. On the other hand, the second meeting is aimed at mobilizing a group of friends to a community service and, thus, is described as an informal meeting. Therefore, they portray different characteristics based on the type of members, motion, minutes, order, agenda, and leadership.
As demonstrated in the departmental meeting, there is a need to create a structure of the meeting by establishing an agenda. An agenda gives the meeting the level of seriousness (word choice) to discuss important issues about the organization (David, 2005). In contrast, the community service meeting does not require an established agenda. Any member of the group can come up with (word choice) a topic of discussion without any defined structure. That way, members are free to take any approach to the issue in search of a solution
One characteristic of the department meeting is that minutes are recorded by the secretary for future references. Moreover, the manager uses the minutes to determine the topics that have been covered in the previous meeting to avoid duplication (David, 2005). It is also used as a checklist to ensure everything is executed accordingly. However, in the community service meeting, there are no records of the proceedings. Members rely on chat histories as a source for reference or as a checklist. As such, they can save time and cover many issues regarding the group. Being a non-profit group, they also save on the cost of managing the group as they would not need to spend on writing materials like book and pens.
The organizational meeting is preplanned and organized by the manager. He creates a meeting plan based on the issues and topics to be addressed. This includes determining the most appropriate date and time, the venue, intended audience, and the topics for discussion. This helps make the meeting more professional and organized. In contrast, there is no preplanning in the community service meeting. Any member is allowed to introduce a topic of discussion randomly and mobilize members to participate. This way, the meeting is kept open for any motions or activities hence improving the ability to cover a variety of issues.
The community service meetings are started randomly without prior notice. Therefore, members are often caught off guard giving them the opportunity to tackle the topic with a clear mind. This is important for discussing interpersonal issues that require people’s honest opinions. However, the organizational meetings ensure that members are notified accordingly of the upcoming meeting. It gives them time to plan and schedule accordingly. This is because time is of the essence in an organizational setting and every employee is committed hence the need for scheduling to ensure that all tasks are performed efficiently.
Analysis and Recommendation
The two meetings are different in that they represent different types of forums. The first meeting is organizational and represents a professional setting while the second one represents an informal setting. However, they both contain essential elements of a successful meeting. One component of a successful meeting, especially for an organization, is effective planning. This characteristic is highlighted in the first meeting where the manager plans and communicates with the employees accordingly. Another important characteristic of a meeting to note from the two meetings is structure. Developing a well-defined structure for the meeting brings the professionalism required to discuss important organizational issues (Laws, 2001). Third, sharing control is also another important characteristic of a successful meeting. As demonstrated in the community service meeting, members are likely to be free and open to tackling any issue when led by fellow members to whom they can relate. Such characteristics can be applied to future meetings to enhance productivity.
Films for the Humanities & Sciences (Firm), Films Media Group., & Video Education Australasia. (1998). Controlling Meetings. New York, N.Y: Films Media Group.
Laws, A. (2001). Meetings. Oxford: Summertown Pub.
King, D. (2005). Meetings. Peaslake, Surrey, UK: Delta.