Section C Managing and Conducting Meetings

“The mutual confidence on which all else depends can be maintained only by an open mind and a brave reliance upon free discussion.”

Speech to the Board of Regents, University of the State of New York. Learned Hand, 1950s.

After the Duke of Wellington had held his first cabinet meeting as prime minister, he is said to have exclaimed: “An extraordinary affair. I gave them their orders and they wanted to stay and discuss them.”

1 Planning the Meeting


Firstly, is a meeting the best way to accomplish the defined purpose? If yes, then what process will best serve the purpose?


Spend some time deciding why the meeting is necessary. In a project most meetings will have been predetermined, for example, progress meetings or the project manager's meeting. These meetings will have been entered on the project calendar for a particular time and day, either weekly or monthly. So there is no excuse for non‐attendance. For extraordinary meetings, say, problem‐solving meetings, make sure that people have sufficient advance notice.


Be clear about your objectives and the results you want to achieve from the meeting. Make sure that everyone understands the real goal of the meeting. For example, the real goal may not be to solve the problem but to get the authorised manager to agree with the team's conclusion such that they will sign off on the proposed course of action.


Issue an agenda to the participants. Can any ...

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