Personal Effectiveness
      FETAC Level 5
                       Personal Effectiveness

Each one of us wants to have some place in society. We want to show
that we are someone special and also helpful to society. The workplace
is one of the most vital places for us to show our determination and
prove ourselves. We prove that we can do every piece of work assigned
to us and also do more and more provided things go well. Or in other
words we show that we are very effective and efficient in the workplace
and life in general.
Personal effectiveness leads to success of our career. So what does
personal effectiveness mean? It entails improving ourselves in a way
such that we are recognised to be a person of courage, high spirits and
good determination and also a good and balanced person. In the
workplace, it is that character which helps us towards success. To be
the best performer we can be we don’t need the highest grades or gold
medals. Rather what we need is self improvement.
At every point in life we need improvement or Personal effectiveness.
So what should be done to improve our personal effectiveness in the
workplace? Here are some tips.
      Develop the ability to think clearly and logically

      Present ideas effectively and in a way that is easily understood

      Be confident in conducting oneself and in presenting ideas

      Time management

      Dissolve conflict

      Good planning

      Remain composed

      Prioritise

      Be a good listener

      Be understanding

      Reduce stress

      Be proactive

      Motivate others

      Be optimistic
       Be a continuous learner

       Be professional

       Build good relationships

       Be flexible

       Be mature

       Dress appropriately

Increasing Your Level of
Personal Effectiveness – 4
While it can sometimes seem that a chosen few have been anointed with the
secrets of success, there are no secrets. Rather, there are simple principles of
personal effectiveness that have stood the test of time. Incorporating the
following four principles into your life will help to create a well-balanced life.

   1)   Accept Personal Responsibility
   2)   Adjusting to Change
   3)   Stay Focused
   4)   Surround Yourself with Positive People
Principle Number One: Accept Personal Responsibility

No one is responsible for your life circumstances except you. People and
events may impact you in ways you cannot control, but ultimately you are the
only person who can decide what you do with the experiences you’ve had, the
dreams you aspire to, and the actions you take each day.

To be responsible quite literally means that you are “able to respond” to the
events of your life. This ability to take on the present conditions of your life at
any given time and to decide if those circumstances are working for you or not
is always present. You always retain the power to take action and to change
circumstances that aren’t measuring up to your standards.

Nobody goes through life without knockbacks, be it a broken heart, being
made redundant etc. Effective people don’t live in the past. They’ve learned
from the past. Then they’ve let it go. They live each day in the present, with
their eye on the future they wish to create. When something bad happens,
they take in the facts and take responsibility to address the situation in a way
that compliments the life they want to live.

Don’t give your power to the past—to people who have hurt you or to the
experiences that undermined your self-confidence. Absorb yourself in the
belief that you can handle anything that comes your way. Then take
responsibility to handle it.
Principle Two: Adjusting to Change

One thing is certain in life—everything must change. Nothing is static. In fact,
right now a large area of your life is evolving.

You must feel physically, mentally, and emotionally safe in order to live at
your highest potential. One of the most common strategies used to create this
sense of safety involves establishing a level of predictability in your day-to-day
experience. The very nature of change shakes this predictability up.

Effective people accept the inevitability of change and consciously decide how
they will embrace and manage it when it arrives. The key to successfully
taking this approach requires you to identify the essence of what you value in
your current circumstances and to incorporate those qualities into the
changing conditions you’re dealing with.

Within every circumstance of your life—those you love and those you don’t—
there is something important that impacts on your perception of that event.
When you experience change, it is normal for you to react to the possibility of
fear of the unknown.

When you allow yourself to take time-out and analyse the basic nature of the
circumstance in your life that’s changing, you are better equipped to
incorporate this new concept into your new circumstance.

Change is not always easy, but by making the decision to embrace change
you are taking the first step.
Principle Three: Stay Focused

The quality of your life is directly related to what you focus on in any given
moment. Focus directs your attention and clarifies your actions. Effective
people are masters at establishing and maintaining focus. They focus on their
aspirations and the results they want to create. When they encounter a
problem, they focus on solving that problem so that they can get back to
moving toward their goals.

Common problems people have in relation to this area is that sometimes
people find it difficult to establish focus or sometimes they find it difficult to
maintain it once they hit a bump in the road.

Establishing focus requires that you are clear about what you want and what
you have to do to get there. It also requires that you clearly define your
priorities and manage your time and energy in accordance with them. It is
important to remember that while people may develop their priorities, it is also
necessary to manage their calendars based on that list.

Effective people are willing to say no. When they make a commitment, they
follow through on that commitment unless they are presented with a real
emergency, and before making a commitment they carefully evaluate whether
or not that promise will support or detract from their present undertakings.

Now that you know the first three principles of personal effectiveness, it’s vital
that you do what you know. This requires self-discipline and a healthy dose of
personal responsibility.

You will have problems. You will meet obstacles. Not all of your projects will
go according to plan. No matter what circumstances you encounter, maintain
focus on your original goal and invest all of your energy in getting over,
around, under, or through the problem you’re facing. Using this approach,
your problems will be short-lived and you’ll reduce your frustration level
Principle Four: Surround Yourself with Positive People

Nothing will disrupt your efforts to live a healthy, balanced, fulfilled life more
conclusively than surrounding yourself with people who don’t support your
desire to live in this manner. The most difficult course you’ll plan as you make
life improvements will be that of nurturing and evolving relationships with
those who support you, and identifying and terminating relationships with
those who aren’t willing to assist your growth.

Your relationships have the capacity to boost. They also have the capacity to
keep you stuck or tear you down. Surrounding yourself with people who
support your growth is an incredibly powerful way to create a lifestyle that
pulls you towards your highest potential. Surrounding yourself with people
who don’t, will almost certainly undermine the very change that you’re
attempting to make.

Your commitment to surrounding yourself with supportive people and clearly
asking for the kind of support you need sets you up for success. Your
willingness to develop relationships with people who share your values and
interests increases your chances of success still further. Your resolve to end
relationships with people who won’t support you or who undermine your
attempts at change ensures your success, increases your satisfaction, and
validates your deservingness.

Take a moment to consider the key people in your life. Are they supportive of
the new things you’re learning? Will they encourage you in your desire to
change? Don’t settle for less than you deserve.

Choose 3 of the principles of Personal Effectiveness and write a
paragraph (150 words) on each principle indicating how you feel you
have already put them into practice or how you intend putting them into
practice in the future.
Organisation Profile – Case Study – Cork County Council

In this unit we are going to look at the profile of Cork County Council. We are
going to look at the following areas:

      the structure of the organisation
      the purpose of the chosen organisation through its mission statement
      the functions and
      interaction of sections within the organisation

There are 3 main types of organisational structures including
Flat and

Cork County Council has a hierarchical structure

Hierarchical Structure

Diagram of hierarchical structure

Description of the diagram

The hierarchical organisation structure is pyramid-shaped. At the top of the
structure is a single person, who has a small number of people reporting
directly to them. Each of these people has several people reporting into them
and the number of people at each level increases as you move down the
Cork County Council Hierarchy Chart
                                                                                                                         County Manager

                                                                                                      West Cork             North Cork                  South Cork
                                                                                                   Assistant Manager     Assistant Manager           Assistant Manager


                                       Corporate, Community &                       Environment                                              Personnel                      IT               Finance         Housing
                                         Emergency Services

  Library & Arts Service                         Law                                      etc                          Health & Safety                        Recruitment        Motor Tax             etc

                           County Librarian

                                         Senior Executive Librarian West

                                                                   Branch Librarian (Library

                                                                                                Assisitant Librarian

                                                                       Branch Librarian

                                         Senior Executive Librarian North

                                         Senior Executive Librarian South
Flat Structure

Diagram of flat structure

  Accounts       Front Desk    Housekeeping   Maintenance       Sales

Flat Structure

The flat structure is common in entrepreneurial start-ups or small companies
in general. There are fewer levels in the flat structure organisation. However,
as the company grows it becomes more complex and hierarchical, which
leads to an expanded structure, with more levels and departments.

In this example structure, there is one person at the top with everyone else
reporting into them on an equal level.


Matrix Structure

A Matrix structure organisation contains teams of people created from various
sections of the business. These teams will be created for the purposes of a
specific project and will be led by a project manager. Often the team will only
exist for the duration of the project and matrix structures are usually deployed
to develop new products and services.
What is a mission statement?

A mission statement is a formal, short, written statement of the purpose of a
company or organisation.

Mission Statement of Cork County Council

“Cork County Council is a local authority established by statute whose
corporate purpose is to enhance the physical, social, cultural and economic
environment of the county in a sustainable and socially inclusive manner, so
as to improve the quality of life of its citizens.”

The functions of Cork County Council can be broadly defined through
the various departments.

Cork County Council is divided into 3 divisions; North, South and West. In
addition the various departments are Roads, Waste Management, Water
Services, Housing, Coastal and Recreation, Corporate Affairs, Planning,
Environment & Waste, Community & Enterprise, Library & Arts Service,
Economic Development, Information Technology, Personnel and Finance.


The Roads Department is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the
existing public road network. The public road network consists of
carriageways, margins, footpaths and kerbs.

Other responsibilities include:

      Planning, design and construction of new roads and motorways
      Public Lighting
      Traffic management
      School warden service

Water Services

Cork County Council's Divisional Water Services Sections manage the
provision of water services for the communities in North, South and West Cork
    and implements national policy directives on water conservation, such as the
    Water Pricing Policy, the Rural Water Programme and the Water Services
    Investment Programme.

o   Water Services Operational staff are responsible for the operation and
    maintenance of all water supplies and sewerage schemes throughout each
o   Water Services Capital Sections are responsible for the improvement of the
    existing Water & Sewerage System and the provision of new schemes.
o   The Rural Water Programme, run in partnership with the Department of the
    Environment, Heritage & Local Government, Cork County Council provides
    financial assistance to individuals and groups for the provision of water

    Burial Grounds

o   The planning, design, construction and maintenance of Burial grounds is the
    responsibility of Water Services Section.

    Public Conveniences

o   The operation and maintenance of public conveniences falls within the remit
    of the Water Services (Operations ) Department


    Cork County Council's Divisional Services are responsible for housing in three
    regions of County Cork - North Cork, West Cork and South Cork. They
    provide many housing services to the people of County Cork, including
    housing maintenance, ongoing repairs, estate management, central heating
    grants and disabled person's grants. They also and have primary
    responsibility for the provision of affordable housing in the county.

    Coastal & Recreation

                   Cork County Council provides and maintains many
                   leisure facilities, including playgrounds, leisure centres,
                   nature walks, beaches, heritage centres and playing
                   pitches. Each division engages in the development,
                   implementation and review of recreation and amenity
                   facilities in its area.
    The regional divisions also have a role to play in the development and
    maintenance of piers, harbours and coastal development.
Corporate Affairs

The Corporate Affairs Directorate incorporates a wide variety of
centrally provided services. It contains the following sections:

      Communications and Press Office
      Community and Amenity Grants
      Corporate Services and Council's Secretariat
      Franchise (Register of Electors)
      Freedom of Information/Ombudsman Complaints
      Higher Education Grants
      Internal Audit
      Irish Language Officer
      Law
      Mayor's Office

The Directorate is responsible for the development and implementation
of the Strategic Management Initiative. This depends on the full and
active involvement of all directorates in the County Council. It focuses
on ensuring that a corporate approach is pursued in a number of key
areas, such as the following:

      Customer service delivery standards
      Services to support elected members
      Support for the Workplace Partnership initiative

 Cork County Council's Planning Department is responsible for the
 orderly and sustainable development of the County. It achieves this
 through five main functions:

            o   Preparation, monitoring and implementation of
                development plans.
            o   Control of development.
            o   Enforcement of planning control.
            o   Protection of our heritage.
            o   Promotion of best practice.


The Environment Department monitors, analyses and reports on the quality of
air, water and waste water in County Cork, in accordance with EU and
national legislation. It also provides information on environmental matters to
the public and to other County Council departments. The overall purpose of
the Department is 'protecting and enhancing our environment for present and
future generations.'
    Community & Enterprise

    The Community & Enterprise Office is responsible for supporting and
    servicing the Cork County Development Board which has 41 members from
    the following four pillars; local government, local development, state agencies
    and social partners. The office facilitates the implementation of the 'Integrated
    Strategy for the Economic, Social and Cultural development of County Cork
    through ten priority projects;

o          Islands
o          Developing Areas
o          Mitchelstown Pilot Project
o          Environment/Climate Change
o          Traveller Inter-Agency Group
o          Economic Development
o          Social Inclusion Measures
o          Community & Voluntary Forum
o          Joint Policing Committee
o          Comhairle na nÓg/County Youth Council

    The Community & Enterprise office also manages the RAPID programme in
    Mallow and Youghal, supports the CLÁR programme and county initiatives
    such as the County Sports Partnership and the Cork Environmental Forum.

    Library & Arts Service

    Cork County Library

    Cork County Library has 28 branches and six mobile libraries throughout the
    county. This library service provides the community with a comprehensive
    range of material for information, study and recreation.

    The functions of Cork County Library are:

           to implement a comprehensive selection policy covering all types of
            materials and designed to meet all types of needs
           to ensure that every child has easy access to the library and to
            recognise the importance of reading for children and young people
           to act as a centre for literacy and information skills
           to maintain close contact with all schools and regular and close liaison
            with educational services
           to support adult independent lifelong learning, for adults who study on
            their own, usually outside formal education
           to provide reference and information resources which are capable of
            meeting the needs of the communities for social, cultural, political and
            economic information
           to provide information on the policies and activities of local authorities,
            local and central government and the public sector in general
        to ensure that properly trained and qualified staff are available to help
         the public make use of the Reference and Local Studies section etc
        to promote local studies resources and to collect, record and preserve,
         using appropriate media, copies of all printed, audio and visual material
         relating to life of the community
        to actively promote awareness of the primary sources for local studies
        to provide an information service to isolated areas through the use of
         the Mobile Library Service

 The Arts Office has responsibility for all aspects of Cork County Council’s
 service delivery in the Arts within the Cork County Administrative Area. The
 Arts Office is a section of the County Library and Arts Service and operates
 under the Directorate of Corporate, Community and Economic Development

 Cork County Council Arts Services operate to:

              o   To support the development of the arts at local level
              o   To support the emerging and established creative artist in Cork
              o   To develop new audiences for the arts.
              o   To foster and encourage excellence in the arts
              o   To be an advocate for the local arts sector, locally, nationally
                  and internationally.
              o   To support the arts through communication of information on
                  resources and services.


Cork County Council's IT Department is a support department that strives to
provide excellent IT support services to business units in Cork County
Council, elected Council members and the public. It serves the needs of over
2,500 staff. This support also extends to the elected Council members, the
public and the town councils.

The IT Department has a key role to play in this context. Accordingly, its
objectives are as follows:

        To support the mission of the County Council with effective and
         efficient information and administrative systems.
        To provide an IT infrastructure that allows easy access to information.
        To provide excellent support with existing resources to elected
         members, Council management and staff, and voluntary and
         community-based groups.
        To enable elected members, staff and the public to interact with
         Council departments on a self-service basis.
        To enable the systems to support a changing and evolving
      To endeavour to be customer-focused and treat customers with care,
       honesty and respect at all times.
      To promote open and honest communication in all working
       relationships, both internal and external.
      To strive for continuous improvement in the services provided, by using
       resources efficiently and effectively, delivering value for money and in
       the process making effective use of information and communications
       technology, with particular emphasis on reduced licensing costs.
      To be a good employer, respecting the dignity of staff, acknowledging
       their contribution and supporting their development through teamwork,
       participation, training and empowerment.


Cork County Council's Personnel Department is responsible for the delivery of
all aspects of the human resources function for Cork County Council, and to
the Town Councils within Cork County.

There are five main sub-sections within Personnel that deal with various
staffing needs. They are as follows:

      Recruitment
      Staff Relations
      Superannuation
      Safety Health and Welfare
      Training and Development


Cork County Council Finance Department deals with all internal financial
functions necessary for the running of Cork County Council. Responsibilities
of the Finance Department include motor tax, Cash Office (collection), County
Council finance, purchasing, rate applotment, rate collection and insurance.



Interaction of sections within the organisation

Within Cork County Council a number of departments interact with other departments
more than others. For example the IT department would be called on for assistance
by most departments from time to time. In addition the Health and Safety section
provides compulsory training to all staff in the county on an ongoing basis. The
Finance Dept would usually interact with most departments on an on-going basis.
Due to the nature of its remit the Coastal and Recreation section would interact on a
regular basis with the Environment section. No one department is a stand alone
department as many interact with each other and rely on each other for information
and cooperation.
Role of people within an organisation

Team Members
The work of a Team Member needs to be carried out with care and precision.
When a team is performing at its best, generally it is found that each team
member has clear responsibilities.

But often, despite clear roles and responsibilities, a team will fall short of its
full potential. Perhaps some team members don't complete what is expected
of them. It is possible that some team members are not quite flexible enough,
so things 'fall between the cracks.' Maybe someone who is valued for their
expert input fails to see the wider picture, and so misses out tasks or steps
that others would expect. Or perhaps one team member becomes frustrated
because he or she disagrees with the approach of another team member.

By understanding your role within a particular team, you can develop your
strengths and manage your weaknesses as a team member, and so improve
how you contribute to the team.

If team members have similar weakness, the team as a whole may tend to
have that weakness. If team members have similar team-work strengths, they
may tend to compete (rather than co-operate) for the team tasks and
responsibilities that best suit their natural styles.

An effective Team Worker provides support and makes sure the team is
working together. These people fill the role of negotiators within the team and
they are flexible, diplomatic and perceptive. These tend to be popular people
who are very capable in their own right but who prioritise team cohesion and
help people get along.

Their weaknesses may be a tendency to be indecisive and maintain
uncommitted positions during discussions and decision-making.

Below is the role of an LTI Co-ordinator. Think about your role within the

The role of an LTI Co-ordinator
   Recruitment of trainees to programme
   General supervision
   Administration
   To co-ordinate the activities and modules related to the Training
   Provision of ongoing support to participants
   Delivery of relevant modules
   Organise accreditation of the Training Programme
   Provide individual support and evaluation in the form of one-to-one
      Keep project records in accordance with Sponsor groups requirements
      Planning of future programmes
      Deal with all correspondence for genealogical research, eg phone,
       letter and e-mail
      Validate records to the database
      Carry out 2nd and final check on all parish records
      Co-ordinate the learners’ registration with FAS when joining the
       Training Programme
      Monitor, record and report learners’ attendance to FAS on a weekly
       basis and maintain individual attendance sheets
      Record keeping of all reimbursement forms to FAS
      General liaison with FAS and Sponsor
      Submission of termination forms to FAS when trainees finish on
       Training Programme
      Attend Review Meetings organised by FAS and Sponsor
      Liaise and cooperate with other departments within the Sponsor group
       eg IT, Health and Safety, to ensure effective continuity of the Project
      Liaise with other relevant groups both locally and nationally, eg
       genealogy organisations, IFHF, other LTI projects, parishes etc
      Attend relevant external training
      Implement FAS and Sponsor group Health and Safety procedures

Role of a Participant on an LTI Genealogy Project

Transcribing, checking and computerising of Parish records
Actively participate in all training / modules and aspects of the course etc

             Ten Qualities of an Effective Team Player
If you were choosing team members for a team in your organisation, who
would the best team players be? Assuming that people have the right
technical skills for the work to be done, what other factors would you use to
select your team members?

Below is a list of some of the more important attributes of an effective

Demonstrates reliability
You can count on a reliable team member who gets work done and does his
fair share to work hard and meet commitments. He or she follows through on
assignments. Consistency is key. You can count on him or her to deliver good
performance all the time, not just some of the time.

Communicates constructively
Teams need people who speak up and express their thoughts and ideas
clearly, directly, honestly and with respect for others and for the work of the
team. That's what it means to communicate constructively. Such a team
member does not shy away from making a point but makes it in the best way
possible — in a positive, confident and respectful manner.
Listens actively
Good listeners are essential for teams to function effectively. Teams need
team players who can absorb, understand and consider ideas and points of
view from other people without debating and arguing every point. Such a team
member also can receive criticism without reacting defensively. Most
important, for effective communication and problem solving, team members
need the discipline to listen first and speak second so that meaningful
dialogue results.

Functions as an active participant
Good team players are active participants. They come prepared for team
meetings and listen and speak up in discussions. They are fully engaged in
the work of the team and do not sit passively on the sidelines.

Team members who function as active participants take the initiative to help
make things happen and they volunteer for assignments. Their whole
approach is can-do: "What contribution can I make to help the team achieve

Shares openly and willingly
Good team players share. They're willing to share information, knowledge and
experience. They take the initiative to keep other team members informed.
Much of the communication within teams takes place informally. Beyond
discussion at organised meetings, team members need to feel comfortable
talking with one another and passing along important news and information
day-to-day. Good team players are active in this informal sharing. They keep
other team members in the loop with information and expertise that helps get
the job done and prevents surprises.

Cooperates and pitches in to help
Cooperation is the act of working with others and acting together to
accomplish a job. Effective team players work this way by second nature.

Good team players, despite differences they may have with other team
members concerning style and perspective, figure out ways to work together
to solve problems and get work done. They respond to requests for
assistance and take the initiative to offer help.

Exhibits flexibility
Teams often deal with changing conditions — and often create changes
themselves. Good team players roll with the punches; they adapt to ever-
changing situations. They don't complain or get stressed out because
something new is being tried or some new direction is being set.

In addition, a flexible team member can consider different points of views and
compromise when needed. He or she doesn't hold rigidly to a point of view
and argue it to death, especially when the team needs to move forward to
make a decision or get something done. Strong team players are firm in their
thoughts yet open to what others have to offer — flexibility at its best.
Shows commitment to the team
Strong team players care about their work, the team and the team's work.
They show up every day indicating commitment. They want to give a good
effort and they want other team members to do the same.

Works as a problem-solver
Teams, of course, deal with problems. Good team players are willing to deal
with all kinds of problems in a solutions-oriented manner. They are problem-
solvers, not problem-dwellers, problem-blamers, or problem-avoiders. They
don't simply rehash a problem the way problem-dwellers do. They don't look
for others to fault, as the blamers do. And they don't put off dealing with
issues, the way avoiders do.

Team players get problems out in the open for discussion and then
collaborate with others to find solutions and form action plans.

Treats others in a respectful and supportive manner
Team players treat fellow team members and team leaders with courtesy and
consideration — not just some of the time but consistently. In addition, they
show understanding and the appropriate support of other team members to
help get the job done. They don't place conditions on when they will provide
assistance, when they will choose to listen and when they will share
information. Good team players also have a sense of humour and know how
to have fun (and all teams can use a bit of both), but they don't have fun at
someone else's expense. Quite simply, effective team players deal with other
people in a professional manner.

Team players who show commitment don't come in any particular style or
personality. They don't need to be loud types. In fact, they may even be soft-
spoken, but they are not passive. They care about what the team is doing and
they contribute to its success — without needing a push.

Team players with commitment look beyond their own piece of the work and
care about the team's overall work. In the end, their commitment is about
winning — not in the sports sense of beating your opponent but about seeing
the team succeed and knowing they have contributed to this success. Winning
as a team is one of the great motivators of employee performance. Good
team players have and show this motivation.

Influences on how you do your work – People, Issues and Work

      Open communication lines
      Constructive feedback
      High expectations and standards
      Willingness to ask for help
      Offer help without requesting it
      Sharing information


Job Satisfaction
Job Enrichment
Opportunity for personal development
Opportunity for career development
Job Performance
Effective communication
Does the course / job match with original expectations?
Does your role provide sufficient opportunity to use your skills and abilities?
Peoples attitude

Work practices
Adhering to timetables
Hours of work
Using initiative
Health and Safety
Do you have a positive role / negative role / neutral role (no strong role either
way) on others?

           Do I engender a positive attitude?
           Do I show genuine appreciation?
           Am I positive and constructive?
           Am I enthusiastic?
           Do I adopt an attitude that anticipates that things will go well?
           Do I think positively?
           Do I take responsibility for my actions?
           Do I respect others?
           Am I sensitive to others?
           Am I honest and do I keep any confidential information behind closed
           doors. Do I share knowledge and expertise and not withhold
           Do I respect the opinions and positions of others on the team, even if
           the person has an opposing view or different opinion?
           Do I talk loudly on my mobile phone?
           Do I share too much information with colleagues?
           Do I pull my own weight?
           Do I have a negative attitude?
           Do I partake in group discussions?
           Do I alienate myself?

What is the difference between a strength and a skill?

Strengths come from within the person, they are part of the person’s character
and attitude.

A skill is something which is developed over a period of time and can be
acquired through training or experience. A skill is an acquired ability, an
accomplishment or an expertise. eg Typing speed
A work skill relates to technical knowledge in a work related area.

Key Work Skills

          Keyboarding Skills - Speed
          Computer Skills – Word, Excel, Access, E-mail, Hardware, Software
          Genealogical Research Knowledge
          Languages
          Management Skills:

(a)       Ability to plan, organize and schedule the activities of staff.
(b)       Experience assigning, delegating and directing the work of others.
(c)       Knowledge of hiring and firing procedures and regulations.
(d)       Knowledge of personnel practices, time management and negotiation.
              Financial Skills:

    (a)       Ability to recognize and solve problems.
    (b)       Knowledge of orderly thinking and accounting procedures.
    (c)       Knowledge of data processing, financial concepts, and investment
    (d)       Capable of ranking, sorting, averaging, counting and analyzing data.
    (e)       Ability to handle money and create budgets.
    (f)       Ability to reconcile and balance statements.
    (g)       Skilled at working with numbers and solving equations.
    (h)       Ability to evaluate financial scenarios.

         Manual Skills:

    (a)       Skilled at operating, monitoring, controlling, driving, and setting up
    (b)       Ability to work on an assembly line, with a team or independently.
    (c)       Excellent knowledge of tools, safety rules, mechanics, plumbing &
    (d)       Excellent hand-eye coordination.
    (e)       Skilled at building, restoring and producing quality final products.
    (f)       Ability to turn, pump, drill, manufacture, transport & deliver objects.
    (g)       Skilled at landscaping.

         Clerical Skills:

    (a)       Excellent filing, bookkeeping, recording and computational skills.
    (b)       Ability to exercise proper telephone protocol.
    (c)       Ability to use correct grammar and punctuation.
    (d)       Skilled at computing, compiling, tabulating, charting, reviewing &
                    supporting data and conclusions derived therefrom.
    (e)       Skilled at prioritizing, editing, translating and implementing ideas.

   Technical Skills:

    (a)        Skilled at calculating and evaluating data.
    (b)        Knowledge of economic, investigation and balancing principles.
    (c)        Ability to prioritise, learn, demonstrate, correspond, and sort priorities.
    (d)        Skilled at adjusting and repairing machines.
    (e)        Skilled at triggering, building inspecting and testing materials.

   Public Relations Skills:

    (a)        Ability to maintain a favourable image and inform the public.
    (b)        Ability to consult and write news releases.
    (c)        Excellent knowledge of negotiating principles and the media process.
    (d)        Capable of original thinking and logical reasoning.
    (e)        Skilled at composing, editing, expressing and presenting information.
    (f)        Ability to unite and mentor groups.
    (g)        Ability to explain and clarify information.
   Selling Skills:

    (a)        Skilled at determining value and promoting sales.
    (b)        Knowledge of financing and budgeting.
    (c)        Skilled at demonstrating, promoting and marketing products.
    (d)        Skilled at merchandising, convincing, motivating, clarifying &

             Maintenance Skills:

    (a)        Ability to dismantle, repair and maintain equipment.
    (b)        Skilled at operating tools and removing parts.
    (c)        Skilled at adjusting functional parts.
    (d)        Ability to clean, lubricate, order and purchase parts.
    (e)        Ability to climb and work indoors or outdoors.
    (f)        Ability to lift heavy equipment and work as a team member.
    (g)        Knowledge of basic mechanics, electrical and plumbing principles.
    (h)        Skilled at inspecting, testing, transporting & delivering.
    (i)        Skilled at forming, cutting, installing, replacing, operating, oiling,
               lubricating, tending, joining, bending, assembling and disassembling.
    (j)        Ability to apply strength and operate machines.
    (k)        Ability to use hand and power tools.
    (l)        Skilled at grounds-keeping, constructing and measuring.

    Key Personal Skills

              ability to network – this comes from having confidence and / or
               knowledge in the chosen area
              playing an instrument
              arts and crafts
              playing a sport eg hurling, football, etc
              learning to drive a car

    Personal Strengths

              working unsupervised
              open to feedback, makes sure s/he understands and works with others
               to try to resolve the problem
              flexible and willing to adapt or make changes for the good of the team
               or organisation
              strong work ethic,
              self discipline – this includes the ability to keep on track when carrying
               out a task and complete projects without becoming distracted and
               going off on tangents
              co-operation – willingness to engage in interpersonal work situations is
               very important in the workplace
     creativity – employers want innovative people who bring a fresh
      perspective, people who can “think outside the box”
     adaptability (e.g. carrying out multiple tasks or projects; being
      innovative and resourceful; being open and responsive to change)
     an interest in lifelong learning

Personal Weaknesses

     Too rigid or demanding of self or others
     Inability to deal patiently with difficult people
     Not behaving in a consistent manner; cannot be relied upon to be
      courteous and professional
     workaholic, unable to care or talk about anything except work
     defensive when offered feedback, dismisses what managers and
      colleagues have to say, and refuses to acknowledge that there is a
     inability to meet deadlines
     inability to prioritise
     frequently making excuses and not taking responsibility

What is a Problem?

What is Problem Solving?

Different types of Problems

Methods of Collecting Information

              Brainstorming – in more detail

Problem Solving: Step by Step

The Problem Statement

Constructing a Problem Statement

Analysis Methods – Advantages and Disadvantages

    Flowchart
    Fishbone Diagram
    The 5 Whys
What is a Problem?

A problem is a discrepancy between the Standard or Expectation and the
Present or Actual condition

What is Problem Solving?
Problem-solving is a mental process that involves discovering, analyzing and
solving problems. The ultimate goal of problem-solving is to overcome
obstacles and find a solution that best resolves the issue (Reed, 2000).

Remember that problem solving is not about how intelligent you are or the
body of knowledge that you have. Problem solving is about your ability to think
straight and keeping the relevant data and facts in the right perspective and
having done that, to get the process right.


Problems can be classified into four types. They are:

      Question-based problems
      Situation-based problems
      Convincing-based problems
      Solving-based problems

Each of these types of problems require a unique approach to tackle and
overcome them.

Question-based problems

These types of problems involve a question that needs an answer. Sometimes
it is difficult to derive the answer as you may not have access to all the
relevant data and facts to make an informed decision. An example: Should the
government help refugees?

Obviously this question begs further information such as how many people
entering Ireland are refugees? Is it a problem that the government should
handle? Why and how should they be helped?

Question-based problems usually involve a long term plan of action and one
which requires you to dig for more information and data to help you solve it. It
also gives you an opportunity to delve deeper into the status quo that you are
in and to see how you could improve your current state to the ideal state that
you desire.

If you are faced with this type of problem you need to work towards getting as
many facts and data as possible that will allow you to at least, try to minimise
the problem and make an informed decision.
Situation-based problems

These types of problems as the word suggest is based on a situation that is
currently causing you a dilemma. For instance, your boss has asked you to
work through the weekend to finish up a project for the company that is worth
a million euros. However, you've promised to take your family out for dinner to
celebrate your spouse's birthday. You now have a 'situation' here. Such
problems can sometimes cause you to avoid the problem or to try to ignore it.
The question that you need to ask is how are you going to deal with the

This is when you need to keep thinking of how, if at all, you could satisfy these
two contrasting situations or to make a decision as to what is more important
to you. Having done this you need to convey your presence of mind to both
parties. Situation based problems might expect you to make a choice. In doing
so, you need to weigh the consequences of your decision and as the saying
goes to try to choose "the lesser of the two evils".

Convincing based problems

These types of problems puts you in a situation whereby you might have
information which others don't and a need to convince the others that they
should see things your way. For instance, how do you convince your
colleagues that they should not always be coming late for their appointments
and meetings.

There may be a certain amount of sensitivity in such problems as the status
quo that you are in is not an ideal state and might give rise to other problems
if you do not handle it well enough. Convincing based problems requires you
to be empathetic to the others' feeling and to exercise a certain degree of
emotional connectivity with others so that they can be convinced.

Solving based problems

The last in the category is the solving based problem which basically means
that you have a problem that needs solving. Example: The old office
photocopier machine has broken down. You have a lot of photocopying to do.
There is only one solution here and that is to solve the problem. The solution
option you choose can be either short term, mid term or long term in effect.
For the short term perspective, because you've got lots of photocopying to do,
you might decide to outsource this. As a mid term remedy, you may have to
get the photocopier repaired. However this might not guarantee that it won't
break down again in which case you might have to think of a long term
solution of replacing the whole machine.

Solving based problems usually will involve you being in a current non-
desirable state of being and the need to move to an ideal state of being where
the problem is resolved, or if that is not possible, at least in a state where the
problem can be minimised.
Methods of Collecting Information

There are many different methods of gathering information in order to solve a
problem. Below are just some of them. Obviously, it may not always be
possible to carry out all options for all problems and it is necessary to choose
more appropriate ones for different types of problems.

   (a) Survey/Questionnaire: collecting standardised information through
       structured questionnaires to generate quantitative data. Surveys may
       be mailed (surface and electronic), completed on site or through
       interviews, either face-to-face, telephone or internet, such as Survey

   (b) Case Study: in-depth examination of a particular case (programme,
       group of participants, single individual, site/location). Case studies use
       multiple sources of information and methods to provide as complete a
       picture as possible.

   (c) Interviews: information collected by talking with and listening to
       people, either face-to-face or over the telephone. Interviews range on a
       scale from those which are tightly structured (as in a survey) to free
       flowing, conversational interviews.

   (d) Observation: collecting information through “seeing” and “listening.”
       Observations may be structured or unstructured.

   (e) Brainstorming: use of group processes and discussion, suggesting a
       large number of solutions or ideas and combining and developing them
       until an optimum is found.

   (f) Expert or peer review: examination by a review committee, panel of
       experts or peers.

   (g) Portfolio reviews: collection of materials, including samples of work,
       that encompass the breadth and scope of the programme activity being

   (h) Testimonials: individual statements by people indicating personal
       responses and reactions.

   (i) Tests: use of established standards to assess knowledge, skill,
       performance such as in pen-and-pencil tests or skills tests.

   (j) Diaries, journals: recording of events over time revealing the personal
       perspective of the writer/recorder.

   (k) Logs: recording of chronological entries which are usually brief and
           (l) Document analysis: use of content analysis and other techniques to
               analyze and summarise printed material and existing information.

        Brainstorming – in more detail
        Of the list above one of the most popular methods of Collecting Information is
        Brainstorming. This is an example of the various areas which may evolve from
        a brainstorming session on how to improve an organisation.

        Meeting Purpose and Objectives:
           To generate ideas on how we can maximise our market share in a
               tough economy.
              To bring together team members from around the organisation and
               across the globe to gain a full range of perspectives and ideas.
              To provide an anonymous forum for the open exchange of ideas and
              To organise and prioritise our ideas and solutions.
              To layout an action plan with responsibilities and deadlines.
              To prepare a set of recommendations to incorporate into our business

Conference Agenda Verbal Discussion: Describe the problem and share background
Step 1: Brainstorm - How can we maximise our market share in a tough economy?
Step 2: Categorise Solution Ideas - What themes or areas of focus emerge?
Step 3: Prioritise Solution Ideas - Impact and Feasibility
Step 4: Results of Prioritisation of Solution Ideas - Impact and Feasibility
Step 5: Action Plan – How will we act on our Ideas and Solutions?

      Steps 1 & 2 Brainstorm & Categorise
   How can we maximize our market share in a tough economy? Web Site Marketing
   1.    Update our web site
         Add some new and more interesting content to keep bringing current and potential
         customers back.
         1. Case studies
         2. Tips and techniques
         3. Articles and links to other interesting site/s.

   2.     Revisit web site indexing and key words
          Are we best positioned with the major search engines? Look at benefits of buying
          keyword positioning.
3.    Research other web sites and offer reciprocal links
      Increase chances of our targeted customers finding us on the web by requesting
      reciprocal links with other web-sites that these customers will also be looking at.
      1. Contact our current customers to find out what they are reading and their favourite
      web resource sites.
      2. look at industry association web sites

Sales Force
4.    Recruit more sales personnel - more feet on the street
5.    Revise sales territories to more manageable size
      Current geographic territories lead to uneven workloads. Some areas are too heavily
      covered and others are too sparse. Define territories based on market potential.
6.    Sales force training Provide additional training opportunities for our new and
      existing sales people. Current training is out of date and some sales reps have not
      been fully trained in our new range of products.
      1. look at online training options
      2. View the training as a continuum over several months, with commitment to
      provide ongoing support for those who need it.

7.    Create shared learning teams among sales reps across regions
      Keep sales force sharing ideas amongst each other. Use online learning teams to
      enable collaboration and sharing of ideas and success stories.
      1. Search for technology to support this.

Working with our Distributors
8.    Bring distributors in for updated training on new product line
9.    Offer new incentives e.g., Distributor of the Month award.
10.   Monthly newsletter for distributors
      Keeping them current on new products, sharing success stories and sales tips,
      keeping them motivated.
Current Customers
11.   Monthly newsletter for our customers
      Email format provides cost effective way of distributing this.
      1. Inform customers of special offers and new products/services.
      2. Featured customer of the month.
      3. Customer success stories - how our customers are using our products.

12.   Online discussion forum - come meet other users of our products Using online
      meeting tools to engage our customers in live discussion forums. Sharing ideas
      about how our products are being used.
      1. Question and answer session with our experts.
      2. Test these ideas out with some of our current customers.
      3. Send them an online survey to find out what items they would be most interested
      4. What is the purpose of this? To sell more to our current customers and provide
      an additional service that we can market to future customers.
Other Ideas
13.    Revisit this question at least once a quarter – keeping ideas current
       1. invite sales force to participate
       2. invite product development and training staff also
       3. Have management provide direct feedback to participants about action items that
       have been taken as a result of the ideas generated.
       4. online meeting tools facilitate gathering, prioritising and publishing of action plans
       (just as we are doing with this agenda)

    Problem Solving: Step by Step
    Be it problem solving steps for maths or any other subject, it is first necessary
    to understand what the problem is. Read the problem or sum and note down
    what it actually wants you to do. Also make sure you jot down the key
    information that will help you in the process further and give you an insight
    into the problem. Also, think logically, and try to find clues. The next step
    would be to decide on what methods of information collection are you going to
    use eg brainstorming, questionnaires, interviews etc. Prepare a strategy for
    your steps using related concepts. Solve the problem accordingly and cross
    check it again with logical thinking.

    Problem Solving Steps

    Identifying the Problem: When it comes to problem solving in projects,
    identifying what the issue is becomes very important. You need to understand
    the problem, before thinking and devising probable solutions. Create a
    problem statement in order to focus your mind. This is the very first step that
    will make way for getting ideas about suitable solutions and strategies.

    Analysing the Problem: After the problem is recognised, you need to
    evaluate all of its related aspects. Note down the root of the problem, entities
    involved, ill effects, the time since the problem has been around, and other
    such considerations. Doing so will enable the problem solvers to recommend
    and think about solutions which can be taken into consideration.

    Making a List of Solutions: Study all aspects of the problem and try to list
    down all solutions that can be used for getting rid of the problem. It is a good
    idea to be in touch with your seniors, peers and subordinates to obtain some
    solutions. Ensure that the original issue fits in the framework of these

    Assessment of the Solutions: Focus on each solution and study the factors
    of each. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of every solution
    will help you to determine to what extent it may prove beneficial in the
    process. Rule out those which have less chances of success.

    Consultation and Implementing the Best Solution: With proper and
    professional consultation, choose the best possible strategy that may work
and put it into practice. You may take help from your team members and
others in implementing plans, strategies, and techniques of problem solving.

The Problem Statement

A problem statement is a concise description of the issues that need to be
addressed by a problem solving team and should be created by the team
before they try to solve the problem. When bringing together a team to
achieve a particular purpose it is necessary that they formulate a problem
statement. A good problem statement should answer these questions:

   1. What is the problem? This should explain why the team is needed.
   2. Who has the problem or who is the client/customer? This should
      explain who needs the solution and who will decide the problem has
      been solved.
   3. What form can the resolution be? What is the scope and limitations (in
      time, money, resources, technologies) that can be used to solve the
      problem? Does the client want a production line issue solved? A new
      feature for a product? A brainstorming on a topic?

The primary purpose of a problem statement is to focus the attention of the
problem solving team. However, if the focus of the problem is too narrow or
the scope of the solution too limited the creativity and innovation of the
solution can be stifling.

Problem Solving always begins with a well written problem statement. Your
problem statement should never detail a cause for the issue at hand. After all,
if you knew the cause, you wouldn't need to create this statement.

                        Poorly Written Examples-

   1) There are too many errors in our reports.
   2) Our delivery time is terrible.

These examples do not adequately detail the depth of the problem. They are
a decent beginning, but more information is required before it is possible to
jump in to find out what happened. The addition of how your company failed to
meet requirements is a must in problem statements.
                              Good Examples-

   1) The monthly quality reports (defines where the issue is located) contain
      more than 2 errors on average, greater than the 0 errors expected
      (defines the internal requirement)
   2) On-Time Delivery has averaged 92%, less than the target of 98.5%
      (again, this defines the failure to meet the requirement).

                              Better Examples-

   1) The past 2 months (when) the quality reports contain more than 2
      errors on average, greater than the 0 errors expected.
   2) On-Time Delivery to Customer X (where the issue occurs) has been
      only 92% for the last 4 months, less than the required 98.5%.

These better examples give your teams the detail necessary to investigate the
issue, and define where your team should focus its resources.

Constructing a Problem Statement

Step 1 is to write down your problem or the current state. Don’t worry too
much about quality at this point – simply making a start is significant.
Next, expand on your problem by asking the following questions:

      who does it affect / does not affect.
      what does it affect / does not affect.
      how does it affect / does not affect.
      when is it a problem / is not a problem.
      where is it a problem / is not a problem.

Now, re-write your problem statement based on those answers.

Step 2 is the same as the first, but focuses on the Desired or Future State.

Step 3 is to combine your revised Problem or Current State and your desired
Future State into a single statement. This might take a couple of attempts but
stick with it. Finally, review your new problem statement against the following

      Focused on only one Problem.
      One or two sentences long.
      Does not suggest a Solution.

You should now have a concise and well balanced Problem Statement ready
for a brainstorming session. It should be unambiguous and devoid of
assumptions. It will enable the group to focus in on the problem and work
toward solutions that really fit.
Analysis Methods

There are many different Analysis Methods used in Problem Solving. Some
examples of Analysis Methods used include:

      (a) Flowcharting
      (b) Fishbone Diagram
      (c) The 5 Whys.

The advantages and disadvantages of some Analysis

(a)      FLOWCHART

A flowchart is a diagrammatic representation that illustrates the sequence of
operations to be performed to get the solution to a problem. Once the
flowchart is drawn, it becomes easy to write the solutions for a problem.
Hence, it is correct to say that a flowchart is a must for the better
documentation of a complex problem.

Below is an example of a flowchart to represent what to do if your lamp
doesn't work.

Visual Representation

A flowchart provides a visual representation of a concept and can help make it
clear. In many ways, a flowchart serves as a plan or an outline for the
information you are presenting. Presentations are often conceptual, but a
flowchart helps to organise and present your thoughts. Talking about a subject
without offering graphics may be less effective. For example, if you are
presenting a plan to reorganise a sales department, a flowchart can clearly
show your ideas for the new department hierarchy and the timeline for the


Flowcharts help keep a project organised. In the initial stages of any project, it
can be difficult to keep things together. A flowchart will help you identify and
manage key components of your project and avoid missing any elements. For
example, computer programmers frequently use flowcharts to identify the
individual steps of a program and avoid missing key factors, regardless of its
Flexibility and Control

A flowchart is relatively easy to prepare. A simple pencil and paper will do the
trick. Flowcharts are flexible and can be extremely complex or simple,
depending on your needs. Also, they can change and evolve as your project
develops and grows. The bottom line is that you are in control, and the
method of charting is up to you.


Complex logic

Sometimes, the program logic is quite complicated. In this case, the flowchart
becomes complex and clumsy.

Alterations and modifications

If alterations are required the flowchart may require re-drawing completely.

The essentials of what is done can easily be lost in the technical details of
how it is done.

The Fishbone Diagram, also known as the cause and effect diagram will help
you visually display the many potential causes of a problem.

Examples of a Fishbone Diagrams
The procedure is as follows:

      On a broad sheet of paper, draw a long arrow horizontally across the
       middle of the page pointing to the right, and label the arrowhead with
       the title of the issue to be explained. This is the ‘backbone’ of the ‘fish’.
      Draw spurs coming off the ‘backbone’ at about 45 degrees, one for
       every likely cause of the problem that the group can think of; and label
       each at its outer end. Add sub-spurs to represent subsidiary causes.
       Highlight any causes that appear more than once – they may be
      The group considers each spur/sub-spur, taking the simplest first,
       partly for clarity but also because a good simple explanation may make
       more complex explanations unnecessary.
      Ideally, it is eventually re-drawn so that position along the backbone
       reflects the relative importance of the different parts of the problem,
       with the most important at the head end.
      Circle anything that seems to be a ‘key’ cause, so you can concentrate
       on it subsequently.


• Fishbone diagrams permit a thoughtful analysis that avoids overlooking any
possible root causes for a need.
• The fishbone technique is easy to implement and creates an easy to
understand visual representation of the causes, categories of causes, and the
• By using a fishbone diagram, the group can focus on the ʺbig pictureʺ as to
possible causes or factors influencing the problem.
• Even after the need has been addressed, the fishbone diagram shows areas
of weakness that once exposed can be rectified before causing more
sustained difficulties.


• The simplicity of a fishbone diagram can be both its strength and its
weakness. As a weakness, the simplicity of the fishbone diagram may make it
difficult to represent the truly interrelated nature of problems and causes in
some very complex situations.
• Unless you have an extremely large space on which to draw and develop
the fishbone diagram, you may find that you are not able to explore the cause
and effect relationships in as much detail as you would like to.
(c)       THE 5 WHYS

The 5 Whys is a questions-asking method used to explore the cause/effect
relationships underlying a particular problem. Ultimately, the goal of applying
the 5 Whys method is to determine a root cause of a defect or problem.

The technique was originally developed by Sakichi Toyoda and was later used
within Toyota Motor Corporation during the evolution of their manufacturing
methodologies. It is a critical component of problem solving training delivered
as part of the induction into the Toyota Production System. The architect of
the Toyota Production System, Taiichi Ohno, described the 5 whys method as
"the basis of Toyota's scientific approach, by repeating why five times, the
nature of the problem as well as its solution becomes clear."

The patient was late in theatre.


There was a long wait for a trolley.


A replacement trolley had to be found.


The orginal trolley's safety rail was worn and had eventually broken.


It had not been regularly checked for wear.


We do not have an equipment maintenance schedule.......

Setting up a proper maintenance schedule helps ensure that patients
will never be late again due to faulty equipment. If we just repair the
safety rail, or even do a one-off safety rail check of all trolleys, the
problem will happen again at sometime in the future.


         Simplicity. It is easy to use and requires no advanced mathematics or
         Effectiveness. It truly helps to quickly separate symptoms from causes
          and identify the root cause of a problem.
         Comprehensiveness. It aids in determining the relationships between
          various problem causes.
      Flexibility. It works well alone and when combined with other quality
       improvement and troubleshooting techniques.
      Engaging. By its very nature, it fosters and produces teamwork.
      Inexpensive. It is a guided, team-focused exercise. There are no
       additional costs.


The 5 Whys has been criticised by Teruyuki Minoura, former managing
director of Global Purchasing for Toyota, as being too basic a tool to analyse
root causes to the depth that is needed to ensure that the causes are fixed.
Reasons for this criticism include:

      Tendency for investigators to stop at symptoms rather than going on to
       lower level root causes.
      Inability to go beyond the investigator's current knowledge - can't find
       causes that they don't already know.
      Lack of support to help the investigator to ask the right "why" questions.
      Results aren't repeatable - different people using 5 Whys come up with
       different causes for the same problem.
      Tendency to isolate a single root cause, whereas each question could
       elicit many different root causes.
       Bearing in mind the information you have learned in the Problem Solving Unit

i)           Identify the type of problem you have been presented with and indicate
             why you feel the problem fits into this category

ii)          Using the different methods of collecting information eg
             brainstorming, research etc choose 2 different methods, carry out those
             methods keeping notes/ results/ appropriate information collected as
             evidence and indicate why you chose those particular methods.

iii)         Create a short but detailed problem statement. This should not be a
             rehash of the problem you have been presented with.

iv)          Choose 2 analysis methods and include a 1 page diagram /
             description for each of the 2 methods for the problem you have been
             presented with.

v)           Select the best solution and indicate why you chose it and the likely
                    Mandatory or Voluntary Evacuation?

The town of Fort Rice, North Dakota is located on the western bank of the
Missouri River. A farming and ranching community, Fort Rice’s residents are
known for their tenacity in fighting the weather—and the river—to earn a

It has been raining for 12 hours, and the National Weather Service has
forecast severe flooding conditions through most of the upper Midwest. The
Missouri River and the rivers and streams that feed it are on the rise and are
expected to continue to rise over the next several days as the storm is held in
place by a large high-pressure area that is currently stationary over the Ohio
Valley. Despite the fact that sandbagging crews have been supporting all local
levees, severe flooding is a near certainty.

The mayor and all emergency management professionals from Fort Rice have
been keeping abreast of the situation since before the rain began. They have
been communicating with the local Weather Forecast Office, as well as county
and State emergency management personnel. The question on the table at
this point is not whether to issue an evacuation order but whether to make the
evacuation mandatory.

Historically, farmers and ranchers have been unwilling to evacuate, even
when flooding is severe. Most have grown up in the area and are aware of the
damage that flooding can cause, but they are also aware of their investment in
their land and livestock and will fight to save what they can.

After considerable discussion, the mayor, with the emergency management
group’s concurrence, makes the decision to activate the Emergency Alert
System and issue the evacuation order. But although they decide to word the
message strongly, they do not make the evacuation mandatory.

What is the potential impact of the decision not to make the evacuation mandatory?
                             What Are Your Options?

Auburn, Maine is a city of 24,000 located on the Androscoggin River, 50 miles north
of Portland. Like much of southern Maine, Auburn has a growing population of
retirees and elderly persons, many of whom reside in assisted-living communities.

It is early December, and much of south-western Maine has been under the influence
of a low pressure system. Unlike most nor’easters that occur regularly this time of
year, however, this system features warm air aloft with below-freezing surface
temperatures. Thus, the rain that is falling is freezing on roads, trees, and electric
lines. Electricity has been interrupted to a large portion of the city as wires collapse
under the increasing weight of the accumulating ice.

At 11:00 p.m., the local emergency manager receives a call forwarded from
emergency dispatch stating that the Owl’s Nest nursing home’s generator has failed.
Owl’s Nest is a nursing home, assisted-living community of approximately 250
residents. Of those, approximately 80 have been affected by the generator failure.
These patients are in the nursing home portion of the facility, and many are
chronically ill and very susceptible to the effects of the cold and dampness. For now,
the Owl’s Nest administrator has gathered the affected residents in the recreation
room and is using blankets to keep them warm. This is not a good long-term option,
however, because the temperature is expected to drop into the teens by morning.

What are the key features of a meeting?

Objectives of Meetings

The Role of an Agenda

Items to be included on the Agenda

Agenda Sub-sections

Example of an Agenda

Different Types of Meetings

Before During and After the Meeting

The Roles of Key people at a Meeting

    Chairperson
    Note Taker
    Participants

Guidelines and Tips for Writing Meeting Minutes

The Impact of Personal Attitude and Participation

Issues that can affect the Conduct and Productivity of a Meeting
What are the key features of a meeting?

All meetings must have an agenda which includes:

      Topics for discussion

      Discussion leader for each topic

      Time allotment for each topic

Meeting information needs to be circulated to everyone prior to the meeting.

Make sure to discuss in advance, the following to prepare for the meeting:

      Meeting objectives

      Meeting agenda

      Location/date/time

      Background information

      Assigned items for preparation

Meetings must start precisely on time so as not to punish those who are
punctual. This also sets the stage for how serious you are about making the
meeting effective.

Meeting participants must:

      arrive on time
      be well-prepared
      be concise and to the point
      participate in a constructive manner

Meeting notes must be recorded and made part of the company's meeting
information archives.

The decisions made by the group must be documented.

Meeting effectiveness should be reviewed at the end of each meeting and
suggested improvements applied to the next meeting.

Assigned action items must be documented, and the host, or an appropriate
participant, must be appointed to follow-up on the completion of all action
Objectives of Meetings

A clearly stated purpose or aim describes the key decisions that must be
made or actions that must occur at the meeting. The objective of a meeting
should be stated at the top of the meeting agenda.

Some example objectives in a 3rd level college might look something like:

      Share best practices in graduate recruitment and identify opportunities
       to recruit collaboratively
      Identify priority goals for next year
      Examine and update admission criteria
      Decide how to get feedback from faculty, staff and students

Everything else on the agenda including topics, times, and presenters are the
activities that, taken together, will accomplish the aims.

The Role of an Agenda

The goal of an agenda is to facilitate the decision-making process among
group members. This may be for a technology upgrade or a budget
discussion. The agenda helps to keep meeting attendees focused on the final
decision. Agendas also make it easier to evaluate the success of the meeting
by providing a checklist for follow-up and accountability.

Items to be included on the Agenda

General meeting information

      Meeting date
      Meeting start time
      Meeting end time
      Meeting location
      Meeting purpose
      List of participants
      List of meeting reference documents (if applicable)

Agenda sub-sections

For each item, list the following:

      Title of overall topic/issue
      Short description of the topic
      Title of sub-issues
      Person responsible for each item (lead)
      Time allotted

The list above may vary slightly from meeting to meeting, but make sure that
that there are no errors and that it looks professional.
Ballyduff GAA                     22/08/2012
Monthly Meeting                   11:02

Note taker:                        Timekeeper:



Minutes of Last Meeting
Proposed extension to Clubhouse
Fundraising Draw
Any Other Business

Additional Information
Next Meeting 22/09/2012
                           Facilities and Administration Committee
                           29 May 2012, 3.30 pm, Meeting Room 3

1. Administration
   To review arrangements for minute taking

2. Minutes of the previous meeting

3. Matters arising
   3.1 Canteen tables                                                    D Simmonds
   3.2 Menu boards                                                         M Daniels
   3.3 Car park lighting                                                     T Young

4. Reports
   4.1 Health and Safety annual review                                    R Budgeon
   4.2 Staff forum                                                       D Simmonds
   4.3 Administrative management course                                      R Davis

5. Visit of Simon Coveney, TD
   5.1 To confirm timetable for visit                                        R Davis
                                                      Draft Attached
   5.2 To agree strategy for maximising publicity                         R Budgeon
   5.3 To discuss security implications of visit                            T Young

6. Smoking Shed
   To decide future of smoking shed

7. Canteen
   7.1 To draw up plans for redecoration
   7.2 To confirm styles of chairs                  Brochure attached    D Simmonds
   7.3 To discuss provision of reading material     Consult colleagues

8. Post Delivery
   8.1 To consider problems following merger
   8.2 To agree standards of delivery frequency     Consult colleagues

9. Any other business

10. Date of next meeting
Different Types of Meetings

Review meetings - feedback session

Conference Call Meetings

Committee Meetings

AGM (Annual General Meeting)

EGM (Extraordinary General Meeting)

Before, During and After the Meeting

Before the meeting

Meeting preparation basics

A general misconception is that only the organiser needs to prepare for a
meeting. Although this may be true for informational meetings where
participants just sit and listen, in most meetings where a discussion between
all participants is expected, everybody should be prepared.

Here are a 3 basic preparation rules for both organiser and participants that
can avoid plenty of wasted time.

Meeting organiser

Do you have a clear purpose?
Do you have a clear purpose for the meeting that can easily be formulated in
one sentence? If the answer is yes, go ahead and use this line as the meeting
title. If the answer is no, you should not schedule a meeting but probably do
some more research or try to find another way to solve your issues(s).

Do you have a clear agenda?
An agenda is a road map of the meeting. It will let you define the expected
outcome and let your participants know what to expect and how to prepare. If
you don't have an agenda, don't schedule the meeting!

Do participants have all documentation?
If you expect your participants to be prepared by looking at or reading over
some materials make sure that they receive all materials well before the
meeting and have time to review them.

Meeting participants

Did you receive the agenda in advance?
If the agenda was distributed in advance have you prepared for the meeting?
Did you receive any documentation and did you review it?
The responsibility here is on both sides.

At the meeting

Facilitate or Participate?

You should now have a solid meeting purpose, found the right people and
sent out the agenda and any meeting materials days before the meeting.

Most meeting organisers are also participants and although the organiser may
want and need to participate, someone needs to chair or facilitate the
meeting. There are so many things that can go wrong even with a carefully
planned meeting that you will have to find the right balance between
facilitating (making sure that everything goes as planned) and participating.

The first step to leading successful meetings is to realise that chairing
meetings is a skill that needs to be trained and developed. Here are 3 basic
rules to get started:

Be prepared
Review the agenda and make any necessary notes.

Don't be afraid to make mistakes
As Albert Einstein once said: "Anyone who has never made a mistake has
never tried anything new". Don't be afraid to try out new things from time to
time. The only way to get experience with something is to actually do it.

After each meeting, evaluate what went well and what didn't. You can even
ask the participants for direct feedback during or at the end of the meeting.
Make notes so you can get back to them later.


Make sure someone keeps an eye on the clock so you can make it through
the entire agenda.

After the meeting

Meeting Minutes

You just returned from a meeting and completed everything that was on the
agenda. You're happy that the meeting is over and was a success but your
job is not quite done yet. The meeting minutes is a written record of the
meeting that usually includes the meeting details (like location, the date and
time, etc,), a list of meeting participants and the key notes of each discussion.

The finishing touch is as important as the preparation and the meeting itself.
Here are 3 basic rules for the successful closing of a meeting
Always create the meeting minutes
The meeting minutes are an actual record of the entire meeting. If there is no
record of the meeting it's as though it never happened. A few months from
now, when everyone forgot what was decided, you might have to start all over

Create and distribute the minutes as soon as possible
Make the minutes as soon as possible after the meeting. Meeting minutes
need to be reviewed and approved by all participants to become a valid
record. This should be done while everything is still fresh in memory.

Follow up on action items
Even the best meetings and decisions are useless if assigned tasks are never
completed. When you have recurring meetings, put the action items of the
meeting on a future agenda again to make sure they are completed. For ad
hoc (one-time) meetings, contact the participants by phone or email after the
agreed time to double check the status.

The Roles of Key People at Meetings

The Role of the Chairperson

Before the Meeting
• Define the objective of the meeting

• Consider, if a meeting is the right way to take care of the matter or if there
are other more effective/efficient alternatives

• Choosing the participants
- Choose the people who are entitled to make the decisions and/or people
with appropriate expertise
- Ensure that the participants have time and motivation to participate
- If necessary, inform the participants, what you expect of them
- Try to keep the number of participants reasonable

• Choose appropriate working methods for the meeting
- A tightly scheduled, formal meeting is not always the right one

• Choose the right meeting venue (equipment, peace, location, etc.)

• Prepare an agenda
- Synchronize starting and finishing time with travellers' schedules
- Prioritize and schedule each issue
- Don’t include too many issues on the agenda
- Include breaks and slack in the schedule

• Distribute the agenda in advance, also for information to relevant people

• Ensure that the participants have prepared for the meeting
• Ensure that any meeting equipment (projector, conference phone,...) works

In the beginning of the meeting
• (As a rule) don’t wait for the latecomers

• Introduce new people, the objective of the meeting and the roles of the

• Have a minute taker selected

• Remind the participants: "Please close your laptops (except for scribe) and
turn off mobile phones."

• Follow up the action points of previous meeting(s)

During the meeting
• Motivate, give feedback

• Encourage the participants to express their opinions and suggestions

• Activate silent participants and hold back the talkative and dominating ones

• React on deviations, if needed

• Ensure that decisions are made, but don’t push immature decisions or a
decision which all relevant parties are not committed to

• Ensure that the decisions, the responsible person and the schedule are
defined and recorded
- Ensure that the person in charge of an action point has the time and
motivation to do it

• Summarize discussion/decisions every now and then

• Keep the meeting on correct track by saying e.g.
- “This issue is interesting, but it is beyond the scope of this meeting. Let's fix
another meeting for it.”
- “We fell off the track. Let’s get back to the real issue.”
- “We’ll return to this matter at the end of the meeting, if we still have time.

• If reality calls for it, adjust the agenda and/or the working methods

• Finish the meeting on time

• Make a final summary of the conclusions, decisions and the assignments

• Agree on the time and the subject(s) of the following meeting(s) and define
the participants
After the meeting
• Inform everyone concerned of the results of the meeting, if necessary
(distributing the minutes is not always sufficient)

• Ensure that the decisions are carried out

The Role of the Minute Taker

During the meeting
• Ask for and make summaries
• IWithin reason, interrupt, if you don’t have enough time to write down the
• For each decision, record the following
- what is done
- who will do it
- when she/he will do it
• Ask, if you didn’t understand or hear what was said

After the meeting
• Prepare the minutes immediately and distribute them to the participants and
also to others for information, if applicable.

The Role of Participants at Meetings

Before the meeting
• Ask yourself: "Is it necessary for me to participate? Can I take care of my
share in some other way or send a deputy? Is it enough to be present only a
part of the time?"

• Inform the chairman, if you are not able to participate or if you will arrive late

• Ask for the agenda, if you haven’t received it in advance

• Prepare yourself for the meeting

• Be sure to have the necessary material with you

In the beginning of the meeting
• Arrive on time

• Turn the mobile phone off

During the meeting
• Listen to the opinions of other people

• Ask questions and be active but don’t dominate

• Give constructive and positive feedback

• Do not reject other people's ideas out of hand
• Keep to the point and help others to stay focused

• Record immediately your personal action points together with deadline

The Role of Everybody at the Meeting

Evaluate the quality of the meeting together at the end of the meeting:
Was the aim/goal of the meeting clear?
Was the agenda distributed in advance?
Was any other material concerning the meeting distributed in advance?
Had all participants prepared for the meeting in advance? If not, why not?
Did the meeting start in time? If not, why not?
Did the meeting deviate from the agenda? If it did, for what reason and was it
Did the meeting agree on persons to carry out the decisions and was the
schedule for actions agreed upon?
Which part of the meeting was not used effectively and why?
Was the goal of the meeting achieved? If not, why?
What would have made the meeting better and more efficient?
Have all the decisions made in previous meeting(s) been carried out?

Guidelines and Tips for Writing Meeting Minutes

The person taking minutes, can do the best job when he/she is not a
participant in the meeting. You achieve the best results by focusing on one
thing: making the notes.

Ask the chairperson whether he/she can make a conclusion at the end of
each agenda item during the meeting. This makes it easier and clearer for the
minute taker, as well as the rest of the participants.

The recipients like short minutes, with the essence of each agenda item. Find
a balance in short minutes, in which not all the words said are important, but
the core of each item. Formulate the conclusion, and sometimes the most
important arguments leading to the conclusion. On the other hand, put
yourself in the shoes of someone absent, and see whether that person would
understand your story as well.

Sometimes you may not understand what is said in the meeting. Allow
yourself to ask if you haven't heard a name, or something else, as long as this
does not interrupt the meeting too much. Otherwise you can always ask the
person after the meeting. This is better than to invent the story. Don't wait too
long after the meeting to work on your notes. Preferably write or type up the
minutes on the same day, but no later than three days, as your memory is the
other time-saving factor when writing up minutes.

If you are not very experienced in writing meeting minutes, show your draft to
the chairperson of the meeting before distributing.
The Impact of Personal Attitude and Participation

There are two main features on the impact of Personal Attitudes and
Participation in Meetings. These are:

Dominant participants and Silent participants

Dominant Participants
                Dominant participants often stifle collaborative problem solving and
                creativity among participants. But they often have good ideas that
                deserve consideration. Good chairpersons need to direct the energies
                of dominant participates in a non-threatening way so that others have
                opportunities to contribute.

Silent Participants
                  People are quiet in meetings for different reasons. Some people are
                  reserved by nature. Others are fearful that their opinions will be
                  ridiculed and dismissed. Some are not comfortable speaking if they
                  don't know who everyone is. Some don't care.

                  The role of the group leader is to try to engage everyone.
Issues that can affect the Conduct & Productivity of a Meeting

Lack of Decision Making
                 Some meetings seem to drag on as group members struggle to
                 reach consensus and make decisions. The responsibility for coming
                 to decisions rests squarely with the chairperson or leader. Some
                 common reasons why groups seem unable to make decisions

                        Goals and outcome are not made explicit for the discussion
                        Certain participants get side tracked on peripheral issues.
                        Idealistic issues divide people.

Rehashing Decisions
                 Issues that were discussed and decided on in previous meetings
                 sometimes re-emerge to be rehashed. This can be very
                 discouraging to the group or committee. Some reasons for this

                        People were not aware that a conclusive decision was
                         actually made regarding a specific issue.
                        People recall that a decision was made, but the record of it is
                         not available.
                        Dominant participants pushed through a decision in a
                         previous meeting and silent participants begin to speak up

Deal with small fires but not larger issues
                 Meetings are often used to deal with immediate problems. When
                 meetings focus only on immediate, urgent issues, larger and more
                 global issues may be ignored. (Opportunities for prevention may be
                 missed.) The leader/chairperson needs to ensure that important,
                 though not necessarily urgent, issues are discussed at every

Finishing on time
                 Meetings often run overtime and consequently many agenda items
                 don't get adequate coverage or don't even get covered at all. There
                 are various reasons why meetings run overtime some of which

                        The meeting did not start on time in the first place and thus
                         the group got behind schedule.
                        The sequence of topics was not based on their significance
                       thus too much time may have been spent initially on items of
                       lesser importance.
                      Meeting time was not managed well
                      Too much was planned for time available

Key persons don't attend
               When key staff don't attend meetings, decisions may be made that
               are later questioned and not implemented as hoped. Without some
               regular interaction, office and department members become isolated,
               making teamwork and cooperation more difficult. The
               leader/chairperson needs to ensure that key players attend meetings
               and provide input when needed.

Lack of follow-through on tasks
                The effectiveness of a meeting can be measured in terms of its
                outcomes. If people don't follow-through on action plans, tasks and
                decisions after the meeting ends, then one needs to question the
                value of having a meeting in the first place. The leader is the single
                most important factor in follow-through. It is the leader’s job to be
                clear at the end of every meeting who is responsible for what and by

Organise a meeting on your chosen issue.

Create a one page typed agenda including the purpose of the meeting and
the areas to be covered during the meeting.

You are required to have at least 5 areas to be discussed on the agenda.

Ensure you set a realistic time limit.

In advance of the meeting decide on the various members necessary eg.

Agenda compiler
Minute taker
Lead persons for individual topics

Each lead person for the individual topics will need to prepare notes in
advance of the meeting for their individual topic

Next, participate in a meeting in an appropriate role including contributing to
discussion and decisions.

Each individual should take personal notes irrespective of his/her role and
write up these notes after the meeting.


Write a note on the features of meetings


Explain what is meant by the objective of a meeting.


Provide examples of 3 different types of meetings.


List the roles of 3 key participants at a meeting.


How, in your opinion, can personal attitude impact on participation at a


At your meeting what issues affected the conduct and productivity of the


Evaluate how your meeting went. (Were all topics discussed in a logical and
calm manner? Were decisions reached within the time frame? etc)


What, do you feel, was the impact of your own personal contribution on a
scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is poor and 5 is excellent?

Circle your answer

Poor                                             Excellent

1            2             3            4             5


Candidate Name:________________________________


Did the learner adhere to the issue and the agenda?

Was the learner in anyway responsible for time limit not being adhered to?

Did the learner complete their assigned role?
Did the candidate contribute to discussion and decisions for the advancement
of the issue being discussed?
Evaluate the candidate’s post meeting notes.
What was the impact of the candidate’s personal contribution on a scale of 1
to 5, where 1 is poor and 5 is excellent?

Circle your answer

Poor                                             Excellent

1            2             3            4             5

Presentation Objectives

Structure of a Presentation

Presentation Aids

Room Layout and Equipment

Interacting with the Audience

Feedback Sheet

A presentation should be like a mini skirt:

Long enough to cover the vital parts,

and short enough to attract attention.

Presentations need a purpose. Setting clear objectives for presentations is the
foundation for success. To set clear presentation objectives, ask what type of
presentation is being delivered, who the audience is, what the audience
currently thinks and does, and what you want the audience to think and do
after the presentation.

Many presentations are ineffective, because the presenter doesn’t set clear
objectives for the presentation. Setting clear presentation objectives clarifies
thinking and makes it clear what topics you need to cover.

Outline what you want your audience to know at the end of the presentation,
what you want them to do etc.


Every presentation has a beginning, a middle and an end.

Starting a presentation

This is an important part of the presentation as it acts as an attention grabber
for the audience.

The middle of a presentation

A good presentation technique is the rule of three.

The rule of three is based on the technique that people tend to remember
three things.

All you now have to do is to think of ways of illustrating these three points and
then you have the bulk of the structure of the presentation.
The end of the presentation

The end is more important than the beginning. There is a psychological factor
called recency. This is where people remember most, the last thing that they
are told.

You could simply recap on the three main concepts that you have put forward
in the middle section.

"Tell'em what you're gonna tell'em. Tell'em. Then tell'em what you told'em."

George Bernard Shaw


Presentation Aids can comprise of a number of different examples such as
visual, audio, audiovisual and handouts. Visual aids include overhead
transparencies, flipcharts, slides, handouts, white boards, and blackboards.

Audio aids include compact discs.

Audiovisual aids include DVDs and films

A common example of a visual aid may be a Powerpoint presentation.

For printed visual aids with several paragraphs of text, use a font with a plain
typeface, for easier readability. Examples include Arial and Times New
Roman. For Powerpoint presentations ensure the size of the font is large
enough to be read easily by all of the audience.

If you need to comply with a type-style you maybe have no choice anyway.
Try to stick to the same font throughout the presentation to avoid fussiness
and confusion. Use bold for headings. Use no more than two different size

Avoid upper case (capital letters) in body text.


Use only white paper.

Like Powerpoint Presentations, use a readable, ordinary font like Times or
Arial. Don't vary fonts. Use at least 12 point font. If you want to shrink two
portrait pages to fit one landscape page to save space, enlarge your font
accordingly so that the handout text is the equivalent of 12 point.

Use white space wisely; don't cram more than you can fit into each page, and
don't leave gaping blank spots. Never double-space a handout.

Make your handout look professional. Have someone proofread it.

Make the handout easy to navigate.

Match the handout order to the presentation order. Don't make audience
members flip back and forth between pages (or between handouts; you
should have only one handout for your presentation). If a large transcript or
table won't fit where you want to put it, reduce its size.

Double-sided handouts are a possibility (they're lighter weight and save

Always staple multipage handouts, preferably only once, in the upper left

Include page numbers.

During your presentation, guide people through the handout.

During your presentation, give people time to digest examples.

Elements of the handout

Title section

This occurs at the top of page 1 (and nowhere else; don't have a header with
the title on every page).


Don't overstructure your handout; one or two heading levels is the most you
should use.

Keep their design simple, and use them only for the presentation of material
that won't work better in a data example or a graphic of some kind. Include


Figures include charts and graphics. If you have graphics, make sure they're
clearly visible on the handout. Colour graphics look well. Like tables, figures
should also have informative captions.

                                 Use a Caption

Use images if you can
Using images that you had used in the presentation might make it easier for
people to remember your presentation when they read the handout a few
days, a few weeks or even a few months later.

Presenters Notes

Create your own prompts and notes - whatever suits you best. Cue cards are
fine but make sure to number them and tie then together in order. A single
sheet at-a-glance timetable is a great safety-net for anything longer than half
and hour. You can use this to monitor your timing and pace.

Audio clips should be kept short, utilising the part that drives the message
home. Keeping clips short and interspersing them throughout the presentation
gives them more impact.

What's the best way to prepare for questions?
Start by anticipating questions that might come up. What questions are likely
to be prompted by your presentation? But don't stop there. If you've done your
audience analysis, you should know what concerns your listeners might have,
even those unrelated to your presentation that could lead to questions. Make
a list of all the questions that might arise, including especially the toughest
ones. Then prepare a response for each one and make this part of your
rehearsal. Prepare even if you're not sure there will be a formal Q&A session.
Be ready for those "impromptu" questions that might arise.


You've prepared and rehearsed your presentation. Now one more thing
remains: checking out the room where you'll be speaking.

Leave nothing to chance
It's essential that you do as much advance checking as possible. Keep a
checklist handy. List everything that can conceivably affect your presentation.

Make every effort to visit the venue before the day of your talk. If you find
something that needs correcting, don't hesitate to tell the meeting organisers.
They too have an interest in seeing that all goes well.

On the day of your Presentation
Follow up with a final walk-through on the day of your talk. Arrive early enough
to review everything one more time. Ideally, do a full rehearsal or at least a
technical run-through with exact sound, lighting, and visuals you'll be using.
Be sure to tell your organisers if you see something that needs correcting.

Here are some things you should check
Room layout
Is the room large enough to accommodate your audience comfortably?
Conversely, is it too large for the audience you're expecting? You may have to
take charge and request a meeting room that is ample, but not too large.

Does the seating arrangements allow everyone to see you easily? Are there
pillars or objects that could block the view of anyone in your audience? Is the
seating comfortable? If not, request that the seating be rearranged to your
Room noise
Is the room quiet enough so that your audience won't have to screen out
noises in order to hear you?

Be sure the ventilation system is working well and quietly. Be sure there's no
extraneous noise coming from other meetings in adjoining rooms or from the

Look for unexpected noise. If your meeting is at a hotel or conference centre,
check to see if there are noises likely to come from nearby kitchens or
perhaps from construction work going on in the building. Sounds from outside
the building, especially traffic noise, can also be a distraction. Drapes can
serve as a buffer from outside noise.

When it comes to the use of equipment to support your presentation, assume
nothing and trust no one to come to your rescue if something goes wrong.

Don't, for example, assume that the camcorder is working and ready for use,
that the dvd player is ready for use and that the laptop will work with the
projector. So do make it a rule to check all the equipment in advance. And,
obvious as it may seem, be sure you know how to operate the equipment.

Microphone and sound system
If you're using a sound system, test it to make sure it's in good working order.
Know the type of microphone you'll be using, and practice using it.

Don't assume that the meeting organisers will provide a high-quality sound
system that's just right for your presentation. It's your job to make certain that
the sound system is functioning properly. Have people take places around the
room to be sure you can be heard clearly.

Be sure the screen is easily visible from anywhere in the room. Sometimes
chairs are placed too far forward, or too much to either side at too sharp an
angle, so that people can see only a portion of your slides.

Stage lighting should never blind you. Make sure no lights are shining directly
into your eyes at the lectern that would prevent you from seeing the faces of
the audience. It's best if most of the speaker lighting comes from the sides.
House lighting should be bright enough to enable you to see the faces of your
listeners but not so bright as to wash out the screen. You may want to make
the house lights brighter during Q&A.

Rehearse your approach to the podium. Do you have easy access? Are there
potential hazards, like loose floor wires or loose carpeting? Are there plants,
props or other objects that might limit your movement on the podium or block
the line of sight between you and your audience?
If you're going to use a lectern, it's best if you can practice using one before
your meeting. Once at the meeting site, be sure to check the lectern for height
and lighting. The lectern should not be so high that it obscures a clear view of
you from anywhere in the meeting room. There should be sufficient lighting at
the lectern for you to be seen easily by everyone in your audience, and if
necessary a lamp on the lectern for you to read your notes easily. Be sure
also to have a glass of water with you on the lectern. If there is no lectern,
think of what you're going to do with your script or notes while you're

Audience comfort
It's just as important for your audience to be comfortable as it is for you.

Does the seating arrangement provide adequate comfort for your audience?
Can they see you clearly from every seat?

Check the room temperature. Is it too cold? Too hot?

You can and should request a change in the seating arrangement or an
adjustment in room temperature if that's called for.

Ask, if they don't tell
Ask the meeting organisers if there have been problems with the room in the
past. You may find there's something you've overlooked that you should be
aware of. That information won't always be offered, unless you ask.

And, of course, be sure to do your final check of everything well before your
audience is in the room.


When we talk to someone individually there are things we do that help us to
connect with that other person, such as:

      making eye contact
      facing them
      asking questions
      telling stories
      smiling and
      using gestures

As a public speaker these encourage audience interaction because audiences
want to be entertained as well as informed and a lively, personable presenter
is one who connects with their audience so that the audience feels they are
part of the presentation and can respond to the speaker.

You may be facing an unresponsive group, one that just sits motionless and
will not show any interest in taking part - even during the planned question
and answer session. You may think that the obvious conclusion to draw is that
they have no interest in what you are saying. However, it is equally likely that
you are just facing an unresponsive group, this may be due to the character
types within it or the intra-group politics.

Here are some pointers for incorporating interaction into your
presentation, and keeping the audience focused on your message.

Start with a question

You may or may not have had the opportunity to gather information on your
audience in advance. Whether or not you've researched your attendees, it's
always effective to start off with a question or series of questions. For

      "On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, how many of you rank
       your public speaking skills between 10 and 7; how many between 6
       and 4; how many between 3 and 1?" This one helps get an idea of how
       the audience members perceive themselves as speakers and whether
       the content should lean toward basic or advanced.

The important thing is to get the audience involved from the start. There is
also a benefit to you in asking questions; you learn more about your audience,
their interests and their needs.

Use icebreakers and energizers
Easy icebreakers can involve nothing more than one audience member
turning to a neighbour and sharing a piece of information. For example "If you
could choose a new name for yourself, what would it be and why?"

Break the audience into pairs or groups
At some point, you may require the audience to do an activity that requires
more dialogue. Breaking the larger group into pairs or small groups allows
them to have a private discussion, which then can be shared with the larger
group. Some people are not comfortable talking in a large group.

Ask for input
Adults have a lifetime of experience and knowledge to share, and in a learning
situation, it's especially important for adults to contribute to the learning
process. Personal relevance and the ability to apply learning to real-life
situations are more important to adults than someone else telling them what's
important to know.

Bring a flip chart and ask the audience for their input. Write down their words
and use them in your presentation.

Allowing audience members to share some of their own experiences and
expertise makes the process more relevant for them, and creates a richer
experience for everyone involved.
Last, but not least, relax, most of the time your audience will be willing you on
to do well.


After we present a presentation it is useful to provide a Feedback Sheet or
Evaluation Form for our audience to complete in order for us to gauge how
well we did and how we may improve in the future.

Below is a sample sheet which highlights some of the more important factors
to bear in mind when presenting. The six areas mentioned below are by no
means exhaustive. You will be required to design your own Feedback Sheet
as part of the assignment.

Feedback Sheet Sample

Name of Presenter___________________             Topic____________________

                             Excellent Very Good Good Acceptable Poor

Speaker was enthusiastic

Language clear & simple

Well rehearsed and

Lack of reliance on notes

Adhered to Time Limit

Included only essential


Criteria for Effective Groups

Objectives of Working in Groups

Roles in Groups

    Task Oriented

    Social

    Individualistic

Sources of Conflict

Barriers to Participation in Groups

Types of Groups

Effective Communication in Groups

    Listening

    Be Understood

    Ask Questions

Strengths and Weaknesses in Groups

Characteristics of Effective and Ineffective Groups

When it comes to athletics, sports teams have a specific number of team
players: A basketball team needs five, baseball nine, and soccer 11. But when
it comes to the workplace, where teamwork is increasingly widespread
throughout complex and expanding organisations, there is no hard-and-fast
rule to determine the optimal number to have on each team.

Team size and composition affect the team processes and outcomes. The
optimal size of teams is debated and will vary depending on the task at hand.
At least one study of problem-solving in groups showed an optimal size of
groups at four members. Other works estimate the optimal size between 5-12
members. Fewer than 5 members results in decreased perspectives and
diminished creativity. Membership in excess of 12 results in increased conflict
and greater potential of sub-groups forming.

                      Objectives of Working in Groups

There are a number of reasons why people work in groups as opposed to
individually. Some of them include:

      More creativity generating a diversity of ideas and better results
      The opportunity to develop and acquire new skills
      The speed at which things can be achieved
      Distributing the workload
      Reinforcing individual capabilities
      A sounding board for testing out ideas and thoughts
      A support network to draw on
      Creating participation and involvement
      Making better decisions
                        Criteria for Effective Groups

1. The members are organised. Participants come prepared with materials,
   ideas, etc. They have done the homework or read the material and are
   ready to participate fully.
2. Everybody speaks and everybody listens.
3. Participants are respectful of one another. Everyone has patience and an
   open mind.
4. All members participate equally.
5. Members stay on task and stay focused.
6. Members all agree that there are no stupid questions. Members help
   everyone to reach the same level of understanding.
7. Members share an "all for one, and one for all'' mentality.
8. Everyone's contribution is important.

                                  Roles in Groups

Every member of a group plays a certain role within that group. Some roles
relate to the task aspect of the group, while others promote social interaction.
A third set of roles are self-centred and can be destructive for the group.

Task-Oriented Roles        Researchers Benne and Sheats identified several
                           roles which relate to the completion of the group's

                                   Initiator-contributor: Generates new ideas.
                                   Information-seeker: Asks for information
                                    about the task.
                                   Opinion-seeker: Asks for the input from the
                                    group about its values.
                                   Information-giver: Offers facts or
                                    generalisation to the group.
                                   Opinion-giver: States his or her beliefs about
                                    a group issue.
                                   Elaborator: Explains ideas within the group,
                                    offers examples to clarify ideas.
                                   Coordinator: Shows the relationships
                                    between ideas.
                                   Orienter: Shifts the direction of the group's
                                   Evaluator-critic: Measures group's actions
                                    against some objective standard.
                                   Energiser: Stimulates the group to a higher
                                    level of activity.
                                   Recorder: Keeps a record of group actions.
Social Roles            Groups also have members who play certain social

                              Encourager: Praises the ideas of others.
                              Harmonizer: Mediates differences between
                               group members.
                              Compromiser: Moves the group to another
                               position that is favoured by all group
                              Gatekeeper: Keeps communication channels
                              Standard Setter: Suggests standards or
                               criteria for the group to achieve.
                              Group observer: Keeps records of group
                               activities and uses this information to offer
                               feedback to the group.
                              Follower: Goes along with the group and
                               accepts the group's ideas.

Individualistic Roles   These roles place the group member above the
                        group and are destructive to the group.

                              Aggressor: Attacks other group members,
                               deflates the status of others, and other
                               aggressive behaviour.
                              Blocker: Resists movement by the group.
                              Recognition seeker: Calls attention to himself
                               or herself.
                              Self-confessor: Seeks to disclose non-group
                               related feelings or opinions.
                              Dominator: Asserts control over the group by
                               manipulating the other group members.
                              Help seeker: Tries to gain the sympathy of
                               the group.
                              Special interest pleader: Uses stereotypes to
                               assert his or her own prejudices.
Barriers to Participation in Groups

Barriers to participating in a group can be due to a number of reasons such as
perceived lack of knowledge, social skills, closed-mindidness, inattention,
hearing impairment, noisy surroundings, “fear of loosing face” in case one is
considered wrong, pseudo-listening, speakers mannerisms, fear of criticism or
ridicule etc.

Sources of Conflict

Ineffective Leadership
A leader must be impartial when conflict arises, and must be able to facilitate
a solution to the conflict that benefits the whole group. An ineffective leader
incapable of managing contention can himself be the source of conflict as
members of the group begin to question his abilities.

Lack of Communication
It is essential for the leader to communicate the goals and direction of the
group with the members at all times. A small-group conflict can erupt if the
group leader persists in making decisions that take the group in a direction
without first consulting with its members.

Lack of Input
In a small group it is common for everyone to have input into the decision-
making process. Problems can arise when the group, or the group leader,
refuses to take the opinions and feelings of the group members into
consideration. For example, if the group decides to promote a religious
holiday display but some members of the group are not part of that religion
and have not been consulted, that can cause conflict.
No Direction
Strong leadership is necessary in large and small groups. A small group that
does not have a direction or a focus will start to degenerate into conflict in a
short period of time. When a small group has a well-defined goal to focus on,
conflict can be dealt with in the context of the goal as opposed to
counterproductive, open-ended discussions.

Lack of Structure
In a small group all members feel they are entitled to have their opinions
heard; having a structure in place that defines the way those opinions are to
be properly expressed can avoid conflict.

Types of Groups

Focus Groups
Social Groups
Work Groups for College Project
Support Groups

What types of groups have you participated in?

Effective Communication in Groups

In any business, communication is essential. Learning how to effectively
communicate within a group environment involves practice that will pay off in
the long run. The ability to deal with requests, problems, breakdown in
communication and get the job done on time is completed through effective
communication, a skill that every man or woman should know.


One of the most important skills when it comes to communicating is the ability
to listen to someone else. Not just hear their voice, but to truly listen to what
they are saying. Listen not only to the words, but the tone in which another
person is speaking. To relate that you are listening, repeat what the person is
asking or suggesting to make sure you're both on the same page in regard to
meaning. This doesn't mean you have to agree with what the person is
saying, but that you are acknowledging you have heard them and will respond

Be Understood

Avoid misunderstood directions or orders by learning how to communicate
more effectively. Make sure that others in your group understand what you
mean. Sometimes we say things that don't effectively translate into concise
directions for others. Relay messages and follow up to make sure you are
understood. For example, when giving instructions or directions, have the
person or people repeat back what you would like them to do. In this way,
both the sender and the receiver of the information make sure that such
dialog, written or verbal, is understood.

Ask Questions

Questions are one of the most effective methods of determining whether or
not you are communicating your orders, needs or wishes to others.
Brainstorming sessions that start with questions such as, "How can we
improve our quality?" or "How can we increase output?" generate plenty of
ideas from others, providing you are willing to listen.

Strengths and Weaknesses in Groups

Each personality type has different strengths & weaknesses. Here are some
things to watch for in yourself, especially when working in groups.

Type         Strengths          Potential Weaknesses

Analytical   Thinking           Excludes feelings from decisions

             Thorough           Goes too far; perfectionist

             Disciplined        Too rigid or demanding of self/others

Amiable      Supportive         Tends to conform to wishes of others

             Patient            No time boundaries; things do not get done

             Diplomatic         Not assertive

Driver       Independent        Has trouble operating with others

             Decisive           Does not take time to consider other perspectives

             Determined         Domineering; too focused on doing it "my way"

Expressive Good communicator Talks too much

             Enthusiastic       Comes on too strong

             Imaginative        Dreamer; unrealistic
         Characteristics of Effective and Ineffective Groups

Effective Groups                                            Ineffective Groups

Goals are clarified and modified so that the best           Members accept imposed goals; goals are
possible match between individual goals and the             competitively structured so that each member
group’s goals is achieved; goals are structured             strives to outperform the others.
cooperatively so that all members are committed
to achieving them.

Communication is two-way, and the open and                  Communication is one-way and only ideas are
accurate expression of both ideas and feelings is           expressed; feelings are suppressed or ignored.

Participation and leadership are distributed among          Leadership is delegated and based on authority;
all group members; goal accomplishment, internal            participation is unequal, with high-power
maintenance, and developmental changes are                  members dominating; only goal accomplishment
underscored.                                                is emphasized.

Ability and information determine influence and             Position determines power; power is concentrated
power; contracts are built to make sure that                in the authority system; obedience to authority is
individuals’ goals and needs are fulfilled; power           the rule.
is equalized and shared.

Decision-making procedures are matched with the             Decisions are always made by the highest
situation; different methods are used at different          authority; there is little group discussion;
times; consensus is sought for important                    members’ involvement is minimal.
decisions; involvement and group discussions are

Structured controversy in which members                     Disagreement among members is suppressed and
advocate their views and challenge each other’s             avoided; quick compromises are sought to
information and reasoning is seen as the key to             eliminate arguing; groupthink is prevalent.
high-quality, creative decision making and
problem solving.

Conflicts of interest are resolved through                  Conflicts of interest are resolved through
integrative negotiations and mediation so that              distributive negotiations or avoidance; some
agreements are reached that maximize joint                  members win and some members lose, or else
outcomes and leave all members satisfied.                   conflict is ignored and everyone is unhappy.

Interpersonal, group and intergroup skills are              The functions of group members are stressed;
stressed; cohesion is advanced through high levels          individuality is deemphasized; cohesion is
of inclusion, affection, acceptance, support and            ignored; rigid conformity is promoted.
trust; individuality is endorsed.

         Source: Johnson & Johnson, Joining Together, 8th edition, Allyn & Bacon, Boston, MA.
                Participating in Groups - Skills Demonstration


You must reach agreement on how to rank the following crimes according to your
estimate of the gravity of the offence.

       A (3) must be ranked as deserving ten years to life imprisonment

       B (4) as deserving from two to eight years imprisonment

       C (3) as deserving one year or less, or a suspended sentence

You may add judicial recommendations, for example, suspension of driver’s license,
psychiatric treatment, etc.

Think in terms of prevention and assume it is a first offence unless otherwise stated.

Agreement means substantial agreement, not necessarily unanimity. Otherwise the
group can decide for itself what constitutes agreement and should discuss how best
to reach it.

Problems are solved best when individual group members accept responsibility for
both hearing and being heard so that everyone is included in what is decided.

The best results flow from a sharing of information, reason and feeling.

Conflict of ideas, solutions, predictions, etc., should be viewed as helping rather than
hindering the process of seeking consensus.

You, as a group, have 25 minutes to carry out the following (see next page).
Crimes to be ranked as:
      A – (three crimes)               10 years or life imprisonment
      B – (four)                       2-8 years
      C – (three)                      1 year or less, or suspended

1. Hit and run. Driver knows s/he has hit a pedestrian on a country road at night, but
drives on leaving the pedestrian seriously injured. Pedestrian not found until the

2. Arson. Historic 150 year-old church completely destroyed. No one injured.

3. Abduction and rape of a 15 year-old girl, kept in confinement for two months.

4. Armed robbery. Garda shot in get-away, and remains in critical condition.

5. Series of false income tax returns. Defrauded the government of €1 million in
the last four years.

6. Personal possession of heroin.

7. Couple habitually leaves two pre-schoolers on their own in a wooden frame house
when they go into town to go drinking. House burns down one night. Neighbours
rescue children.

8. Third offence for driving under the influence of alcohol. Mother of three killed.

9. Solicits teenagers (some under 13) for prostitution and pornography. Over 30
teenagers enlisted in one year.

10. Terrorists hijack a plane that lands at Shannon Airport. Pilot injured, but no one

From the scenarios listed above, indicate the scenario number in one of the columns

10 Years to Life                       2-8 Years                       1 year or less
                                                                       or suspended
(three crimes)                         (four crimes)                   (three crimes)
__________                             ____________                    ____________
__________                             ____________                    ____________
__________                             ____________                    ____________
On completion of the group discussion, you will be required to complete the
following questions. The questions refer to the time spent working on this Skill

Do you feel this exercise worked better because you were required to do it as
part of a group? Explain your answer.


Identify the factors (not people) which contributed to the effectiveness of the


What role do you feel you played in the group? (Look at The Roles in Groups
in your notes) Explain your answer.


What role did the person to your left and right play?

List 3 possible barriers to participation in groups.


What barriers to participation were in the group today? Explain your answer.


Outline the sources (not topics) of conflict


Explain what could have made the group more effective?

Evaluate your communicative participation in the group. Circle one answer for
each Feature. Be honest!

Feature         Mastered         Developed         Developing        Not
Time on         Always on        Mostly on         Sometimes on      Never on
Task            Task             Task              Task              Task

Verbal          Elicits others   Accepts           Ignores others Rejects
Response        opinions         others            opinions       others
                                 opinions                         opinions

Participation   Actively         Occasionally      Listening, but    Not
                contributing     contributing to   not               contributing
                to group         group goals       contributing to   to group
                goals                              group goals       goals

Interaction     Listens and      Exhibits          Exhibits          Exhibits
                gives non-       attention to      inattentive       rude
                verbal           others            behaviour         behaviour

Attitude        Encourages       Accepts           Discourages       Ridicules
                participation    participation     participation     others
                of others        of others         of others

What strengths do you feel you displayed while contributing to the group?


What weaknesses do you feel you displayed while contributing to the group?

Evaluate the overall achievement of the group.


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