Work with a partner to discuss the following questions
1. What are the main reasons for holding a meeting?
2. What is the role of the chairperson?
3. Why are so many meetings unsuccessful?
4. In your opinion, how often are the meetings to be held?
5. Who are the main people in the meeting?
6. Is it really important for a meeting to be in official style?
cash flow statement
selection and placing of personnel
to suffer humiliation
social (insurance )benefit
to draw out
I. Read the text and be ready to summarise the main ideas.
Text I. Make Meetings Work For You
Do you dread meetings more then Monday mornings? Do you find them boring, unproductive and far too long? Meetings are central to most organisation; people need to know what their colleagues are doing and then take decisions based on shared information and opinions. How well you present yourself and your ideas, and how well you work with other people, is crucial to your career.
Running a meeting
Only call a meeting if you (and your colleagues) are quite clear about its purpose. Once you are certain of your objective, ask yourself whether it could be better achieved through alternative means, such as a memo. Meetings called on a routine basis tend to lose their point. It's better to wait until a situation or problem requires a meeting. If in doubt, don't waste time having one. If you're sure a meeting is the solution, circulate a memo several days in advance specifying the time and the place, objectives, issues to be discussed, other participants and preparation expected. Meetings should be held in the morning, if possible, when people are more alert, and should last no more than an hour. Six is the optimum number of participants for a good working meeting. Inviting the whole department (more than 10) increases emotional undercurrents such as, "Will my suggestions be taken seriously?" Larger meetings can be productive as brainstorming sessions for ideas, provided participants can speak freely without feeling they will be judged. A successful meeting always leads to action. Decisions should take up the bulk of the meeting minutes, including the name of the person delegated to each task, and a deadline for its completion. Circulate the minutes after the meeting and again just before the next one.
Draw out quieter members of the group. Encouragement helps create a relaxed and productive atmosphere. Do not single out any individual for personal criticism — they will either silently withdraw, upset and humiliated, or try to come up with excuses rather than focusing on the problems in hand. Save critical comments for a private occasion.
If you're talking for more than 50 per cent of the time, you're dominating the meeting.
Attending a meeting
However informal the meeting, it always pays to prepare a few key points in note form to put across or discuss. If you're unprepared, you will not be to concentrate on what your colleagues are saying and others are less likely to listen to you because you will either waffle or sound hesitant.
Don't memorise notes or read them out like a sermon. This inhibits your natural gestures: the eye contact and body language that is essential to effective communication. If you cannot answer a question, don't be afraid to say, "I don't know but I'll find out and get back to you by... "(give a definite date). Phrase your criticisms and proposals positively. Seek to offer solutions rather than to complain.
Arrive early and sit close to the chairperson to ensure that you aren't ignored. If you're late, apologise and find a seat quickly and quietly. Don't try to sneak in as if you're invisible.
II. Scan the text one more time and then complete the following chart with the appropriate facts from it.
1. have a clear purpose
1. go on for more than an hour
3. sneak in if you're late
III. Recollect the main points from text 1 and then choose which statements are true and which are not:
1. The way you run your meeting will never influence your career development.
2. Holding a meeting on a routine basis tends to become a successful one.
3. Always hold your meetings in the afternoon, when everyone is at work.
4. Try to single out an individual for personal criticism that will make your meeting more exciting.
5. Being late, never try to sneak in as if noone sees you.
IV. Complete each sentence with the correct form of the given word. Remember, you should choose the correct derivative in most cases.
1. Once you are certain of your _______, ask yourself whether it could be better achieved ________ alternative means, such as a _______.
2. If you're sure a meeting is the________, _________ a memo several days in advance __________ the time and the place, objectives, _______ to be discussed, other participants and preparation _________.
3. Larger meetings can be productive as __________ sessions for ideas, _______ participants can speak freely without feeling they will be _____.
4. If you're unprepared, you will not be to ________ on what your colleagues are saying and others are less likely to listen to you because you will either _______ or sound _______.
5. ________ your criticisms and ________ positively.
6. ________ to offer ________ rather than to complain.