A meeting will only be useful if everyone attending knows why it is being held and what is supposed to be achieved- the outcome. Common reasons for calling meetings are: A exchange of current information. The purpose can be: o To give information: to hear a statement of policy; to receive instructions, or to learn about new procedures; to brief a group of staff. There may be opportunities to question/discuss. o To obtain information or ideas: to hear subordinates' views about a problem; to investigate a situation; to obtain information for a report. This type of meeting does not necessarily come to any dicision, usually involves discussion. o Progressing or co-ordinating activities; to discuss what action is needed; to co-ordinate the work of different departments or sections. o Airing feelings or grievances: to allow people to let off steam. (This is not to be confused with the formal Grievance Procedure which often is part of a large organisation's Conditions of Service.) o Negotiating a contract or agreement: With Trade Unions or a contractor, for example. o Resolving a problem: to clear up confusion; to overcome an obstacle to the implementation of a plan; to discover what the problem is; to investigate a technical difficulty. o Talking non-executive action: to gain support for a plan of action; to gather views and ideas; to develop capabilities; to motivate and encourage commitment. o Talking executive action: to get something done; to carry out a higher management plan. o Formulating policy: about the use of certain equipment, for example. o Preparing a plan or recomendation: to formulate proposals for senior management to consider, for example. o Reaching a decision: how to apply a plan; what to do about something or someone.