Meetings, teams and
1. Principal types and purposes of business meetings
2. Advantages and potential difficulties of meetings
3. Main features of formal meetings
4. Terminology associated with formal meetings
5. The agenda and the minutes
6. The tasks involved in chairing a meeting
7. Informal meetings: Team working
8. Brainstorming technique
9. The rise of the virtual team
10. The negotiation process
Meetings: Principal types and purposes
Type Primary purpose Example
Briefing To deliver information CEO presents financial results
to investment analysts
Investigatory To gather information Board of Inquiry interviews
witnesses to a serious accident
Advisory To provide information Panel of experts advise
government department on
Consultative To voice opinions Manager asks her staff how
they feel about a proposed
Executive To make decisions Board of trustees agrees a new
strategic plan for hospital trust
Identify the type and
purpose of meetings
related to the following
The people living near
the airport demand that
all flights’ departures
and arrivals be stopped
between 22.00 – 05.00.
Advantages of meetings
Offer opportunity for
instantaneous feedback and
intensive flows of verbal and
rapid exchange of ideas and
group synergies which can
generate better solutions than
individuals working alone or
communicating through less
Potential difficulties of meetings
Messages criss-cross around the
meeting room and are highly
vulnerable to noise and incorrect
Each attendee arrives with his or
her own information, pre-
conceived ideas, feelings and
Limited attention spans and
selective perception of each
individual can lead to different
Potential difficulties of meetings (continued)
Discussions and arguments can
become highly personalised.
Loss of direction – drifting into
unrelated topics, becoming
Misallocation of time leaving
insufficient time for the main
Most important issues rushed
through by an over-tired chair.
Every month, each employee in your
department is expected to give a brief
oral presentation on the status of his
or her project.
However, your department has
recently hired an employee with a
severe speech impediment that
prevents people from understanding
most of what he has to say.
As department manager, how will you
resolve this dilemma? Please explain.
The main features of formal meetings
established rules and
written records of
usually a specified
membership who are
invited to participate.
Terminology associated with formal meetings (1)
Agenda Document which lists the topics to be discussed.
Adjournment A break in the meeting before all of the agenda items
have been covered.
Amendment A small change or improvement that is proposed,
seconded and put to the vote.
AOB Any Other Business. The things that are discussed at the
end of an official meeting that are not on the agenda.
Ex officio Individuals appointed to a committee by virtue of the office
members they hold, rather than by direct appointment or election.
Matters This is a standard agenda item, referring to items from the
arising previous meeting's minutes that require further discussion
Minutes Document that, once approved by meeting attendees, is
intended to provide a record of the meeting.
Terminology associated with formal meetings (2)
Motion A proposal that is discussed and voted on at a meeting.
Point of If someone thinks that the meeting is not following its written
order rules, he can point it out to the chair by calling 'point of order'.
Proxy A proxy is someone acting on behalf of a person who is
unable to attend the meeting.
Quorum This term refers to the minimum number of members or
delegates required for a meeting to proceed. If attendance
falls below that number at any time in a formal meeting, it is
deemed to be inquorate and business must be suspended.
'Through It is normal practice for all comments at a formal meeting to
the chair' be addressed via the chair, rather than in direct exchanges
Ultra vires This legal term derives from the Latin, meaning 'outside the
powers'. It refers to decisions or actions that fall beyond the
remit of a particular committee.
Considerations when preparing the agenda
Simple items first
Consensus items first
Late arrivals and
Sample agenda and notice of meeting
Figure 13.4 Sample agenda and notice of meeting
Writing up the minutes
Types of minutes:
Verbatim minutes – word for word
Narrative minutes – summary of discussion,
decision taken and action point arising
Resolution minutes – stating only what was
Being a successful chair (1)
Before the meeting – tactical planning
Consider the purpose
Postpone if not enough items/key people
Avoid overloading agenda
Check venue for seating, equipment etc.
Read papers and reports
Being a successful chair (2)
During the meeting – diplomacy and time
Time-keep strictly to ensure all business is covered
Tactfully and assertively control hijackers etc.
Ensure fair contribution from participants
Remain calm and objective
Ensure secretary has recorded decisions
Summarise issues and seek consensus
Ensure all action points are agreed
Being a successful chair (3)
After the meeting – prompt follow-up
Review minutes and ensure they are
circulated to the circulation list.
Check the previous ‘action’ column before
the next meeting and seek confirmation as
to whether the named individuals have
done what was required.
At your last department meeting,
three people monopolized the
entire discussion. What can you do
at the next meeting to encourage
other department members to
What is the difference between a team and a group?
A team is a group that combines a joint purpose
and a shared sense of responsibility.
Benefits of team-working
An effective team can
A popular and well-established technique for creative
problem-solving and generating novel ideas.
General principles for successful brainstorming:
Appoint a ‘facilitator’
Ask everyone else to call out any ideas that come
into their heads
Once the initial flow of ideas is exhausted, begin to
link similar words on the board and drawing out
common themes to consolidate the ideas.
Finally, seek agreement on which of the new ideas
is the most promising.
The rise of the virtual team
Virtual’ teams exploit the full range of electronically
mediated communication channels.
Virtual teams tend to be formed if
face-to-face contact is impossible
face-to-face contact is not cost-effective
specialists are spread in different countries
A form of persuasive communication,
that may include anything, from two
parties engaged in bilateral discussion,
to a large number of participants
engaged in many cross-cutting
The Negotiation Process
Initial relationship-building activity
The exchange of task-related information
Persuasion and bidding/counter-bidding
Concession and agreement