20. Meetings

13. května 2009 v 15:31 |  AJ
20. Meetings


1. Introduction
2. Problems with chairing the meetings
3. Tips for chairing the meetings
4. A social event

1. Introduction

Meetings belong to basic verbal communication. In a meeting, two or more people come together for the purpose of discussing. They usually have a topic and agenda. An agenda is a list of meeting activities in the order in which they are to be taken up. Agenda usually includes one or more specific items of business to be considered. We can separate meetings to: formal and informal. Meetings are often in a formal setting. Informal meetings are usually used for meeting two or more people, which we know very well. Sometimes we go with them in to the restaurant for a drink or food and we talk of our friends, problems… Meetings are expensive or cheap. It depends on size of the meeting rooms or place where the meeting being is. The business meetings usually have 10 or more people. Meetings usually have a chair person who controls the meeting.

Meetings may be divided into many categories:

Board meeting - a meeting of the Board of directors of an organization
Management meeting - a meeting among managers
Team meeting - a meeting among colleagues working on various aspects of a team project.
One-to-one meeting - a meeting between two individuals.
Work Meetings, Staff meetings…

Meetings are in different places. When you are in coffee restaurant you feel better than you are in office with large conference table. In coffee restaurant is the meeting more pleasant and it is not official. In the office peoples are very nervous and should be in far from speaking.

When you start a meeting you can use these phrases:
Hello, thanks for agreeing to see me.
Hello, it's good of you to come and see me.
It's good to see you again.
Shall we get down to business?
There are a few questions I'd like to ask…

When you ending a meeting you can use these phrases:
Well, I think that cavers everything.
I think that's about all for the time being.
So do we agree that …?
I'll put these proposals in writing and fax them to you tomorrow.
2. Problems with chairing the meetings

There are many problems with chairing the meetings:

Sometimes the participants (účastníci) aren't sure what the purpose of the meeting is.

Often some members are late and then the meeting doesn't start until everyone has arrived. So the people must sit down and waiting until they come.

What often happens is that the chairperson dominates the group. For example the chairperson asks the more senior people to speak first, the more junior ones are afraid to give their ideas.

The chairperson doesn't control the discussion and everyone talks at once.

The chairperson encourages everyone to speak when they want to and proposals aren't made through the chairperson.

People always start to argue and then they get angry with each other.

The chairperson rushes (spěchá) through the agenda so that the meeting can't finish on time and than the meetings can't possibly cover everything.

The meeting finishes late because too much time is allowed for discussion. Sometimes here is a threat that not all the items on the agenda are dealt with.

No one is asked to take notes and keep the minutes of the meeting.

A good chairperson is someone who… listens carefully, interrupts people when necessary, keeps to the agenda, allows everyone to have their say, asks non-speakers to speak, and keeps to the time limit.

3. Tips for chairing the meetings

So if you are going to chair the meeting you should follow these tips:

1. Begin by stating the purpose of the meeting.
2. Give the name of the person you want to speak next.
3. Make sure everyone has a chance to give their views.
4. If someone is taking too long, say Thank you and name the next person who wants to speak.
5. If there is disagreement (rozpor) on any point, call for a vote (hlasování).
6. Make sure one member of the group is keeping minutes: ask them to read out the notes at the end, if there's time.
7. Keep to the time limit: if necessary stop the disussion and summarize the conclusions (závěry) and decisions (rozhodnutí) you have come to.

Here are some phrases for finding out what the people think about the meeting, interrupting someone, understanding…
If you are in a meeting, you can find out what the other people in the group think by saying:
What are your views on this, John?
Do you agree, Mary?
Mr. Brown, what do you think about this?
Ms Smith, what is you opinion (názor)?

If you want to interrupt someone and put forward your own opinion you can say:
If I could just make a point here…
Could I make a suggestion?
Sorry to interrupt, but I'd just like to say that…
It seems to me that…

If you want to find out if the others in the group have understood or if they agree with you, you can say:
Do you see what I mean?
Are you with me?
Are we unanimous?
Does anyone object (námitky)?
Don't you agree, Simon?
Don't you thin so, Mrs. Robinson?

If you don't understand what someone has said, you can say:
Sorry, could you say that again, please?
I'm sorry, I didn't catch what you said.
Sorry, I didn't quite understand.
Sorry, I'm not quite with you.

Here are some more expressions that you can use in a meeting:
What does everyone thing about this things?
Let's put this to the vote.

I suggest that…
I propose that…

I agree with that suggestion because…

I don't quite agree with that point because…

I think it's time to adjourn the meeting.
I think we're running out of time.

Is there anything else we should discuss?
Is there any other business?

4. A social event

A social event should be: a company picnic, a departmental party, a group social evening or a class excursion.

First of all, draft an agenda to include some or all of these points. It means points that need to be covered in the meeting:

• The date and duration of the event
• What form it should take
• Who will be invited
• Transport arrangements
• Catering

• Who will be responsible for organizing it?
• How the preparation work will be shared.
• How much people come to the meeting? (To 5, to 10 or more?)
• Any other business.

Each proposal should be a separate item on the agenda.

Decision making = udělat rozhodnutí
Participants= účastníci
Proposals= návrhy
Different kinds of meetings
Vote= hlasování
Keeping minutes= dělat si poznámky
Making minutes


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