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SITUATIONS REQUIRING A MEETING



MEETINGS

 

1. Analyze the words and expressions. While reading the texts that follow expand the list of expressions with the new ones you find the most important.

to hold / to run / conduct a meeting — проводить собрание

to chair /conduct/ preside over a meeting — председательствовать на собрании

to adjourn / break up a meeting — объявлять перерыв заседании

to call /convene a meeting — созывать собрание

to call off /cancel a meeting — отменять заседание

to schedule a meeting for

annual general meeting - ежегодное общее собрание

extraordinary / emergency general meeting - чрезвычайное общее собрание

board meeting- заседание совета директоров

kick-off meeting - стартовое [организационное] совещание

standing meeting – регулярное собрание

topical meeting – тематическое собрание

minutes keeper - составитель протокола

chairman - председатель (собрания)

facilitator / moderator - ведущий

chamber - зал, конференц-зал

to participate

participant/ meeting attendee

to voice / to express an opinion

to attend

 

Ex. 1.Match the following word combinations in column A with their Russian equivalents in column B:

A B
to hold / to run a meeting a) регулярное собрание  
2. to chair /conduct/ preside over a meeting b) стартовое [организационное] совещание
3. to adjourn / break up a meeting c) назначать собрание на …
4. standing meeting d) созывать собрание
5. to schedule a meeting for   e) заседание совета директоров
6. extraordinary / emergency general meeting f) составитель протокола
7. board meeting g) председательствовать на собрании  
8. kick-off meeting   h) отменять собрание  
9. minutes keeper i) тематическое собрание  
10. to call /convene a meeting j) чрезвычайное общее собрание
11. topical meeting k) объявлять перерыв заседания
12. to cancel/ cal off a meeting l) прводить собрание

 



 

Ex. 2.Complete the table by inserting the missing forms if possible

Noun Verb Adjective/Participle
facilitator    
  attend  
  participate  
  require  
  employ  
    satisfactory
  cancel  
    various
  interact  

 

 

Ex. 3. Choose the words with similar meaning from two columns and arrange them in pairs.

1. to adjourn a meeting 2. chair a meeting 3. facilitator 4. to cancel a meeting 5. to convene a meeting 6. to run a meeting 7. extraordinary a) to call a meeting b) to preside over a meeting c) emergency d) to call off a meeting e) to break up a meeting f) moderator g) to hold/ conduct a meeting  

Ex. 4.On the left is a list of some of the idioms used at the meeting. Look at the expressions on the right and try to find the expression which is closest in meaning to the idiom.



A B
1. in future a) decide  
2. it’s a matter of b) in the way described
3. make up our minds c) always after today
4. so far d) to find the explanation or cause
5. in reality   e) some time soon
6. above all f) it depends on
7. get to the bottom of g) earlier than originally planned  
8. in the near future   h) one way of achieving same objective  
9. in that respect i) until now  
10. a means to an end j) during
11. in the course of k) this is the most important thing
12. ahead of schedule l) this is truth, not imagination

 


 

Text 1.Read the text and comment on common situations in which a meeting is needed.

SITUATIONS REQUIRING A MEETING

Most organizations use meetings in the course of their work. Managers must learn to properly organize and conduct meetings. There are several important principles to meeting management: determining situations that require a meeting, understanding types of meetings, planning a meeting, running a meeting, closing the meeting, and managing people after the meeting.

Before calling a meeting, it is important to know if one is needed. There are some common situations in which a meeting is needed.

First, you are likely to need to meet if you are managing a project. Because projects involve multiple people and a lot of information, you will likely need to meet with individuals at various stages: at the beginning of the project, throughout the project, and at the end of the project. Meetings may change in terms of content and frequency, depending on the stage of the project.



A second reason that a meeting is often called is when a supervisor needs to manage people. Managers need to meet with staff as a group or one-on-one to direct employees effectively. Typically, meetings to manage people are held at regular intervals.

A third reason to meet is when a manager must interact with a client. Client relationships may require meetings to pitch ideas, update the client on progress, or present a completed product or service.

A fourth situation in which a meeting is preferable if issues are too complex for memos or email, a meeting may be a more efficient way to communicate.

Finally, managers may call meetings to address workplace problems. If a project is on the wrong course, or if there are interpersonal problems, a meeting may be the best way to address such problems.

While a meeting is often the best way to accomplish work objectives, there are times in which a meeting is simply a waste of people's time. Some of the drawbacks of the meeting are:

· More time is required than if one person made the decisions;

· There’s more talk (and this is sometimes irrelevant and repetitive)

· There’s more group pressure.

Thus, while meetings can be very useful in the workplace, managers should take care to determine whether they are truly necessary.

Text2

TYPES OF MEETINGS

There are six basic types of meeting: standing meeting, topical meeting, presentation, conference, emergency meeting, and seminar.

A standing meeting is a regularly scheduled meeting, such as a weekly check-in with employees or a project meeting that occurs every month. Because these meetings are recurring, they are easier to manage, with similar formats and agendas. Typically, these meetings are held on the same day and time, but they may be rescheduled if necessary.

A topical meeting is one that is called to discuss one specific subject. This may be a work issue or a project task. The invitees and format are dependent on the subject being addressed.

A presentation occurs when one or more people speak, and one moderator председатель (собрания) leads the meeting. Presentation meetings tend to be highly structured, and there purpose is usually to inform. It may be to inform clients, employees, or managers.

A conference is also highly structured, but it is used to solicit contributions from participants on a particular topic.

An emergency meeting is used to address a crisis, and they are often called with very little advance notice. These meetings may be used to address internal problems, such as a theft in the building, or external problems, such as a natural disaster.

A seminar is typically educational—someone with expertise provides participants with specific information.

The type of meeting will dictate who is invited to participate and how the participants are arranged in the meeting room. Topical meetings, conferences, and emergency meetings are best run in seating arrangements in which participants can all see one another and therefore be more likely to engage in discussion.

Conversely, presentations and seminars require a different seating arrangement расположение сидений where all participants can see the speaker, but do not need to see one another. Standing meetings may vary in seating, depending on what is discussed; if a supervisor is giving information, then there is no need for participants to group themselves in order to see one another. Some standing meetings may literally be "standing" if participants only need to meet briefly to get information from a supervisor or team leader.

 

Ex. 1.Match the following word combinations in column A with their definitions in column B:

A B
1. standing meeting a) is typically educational—someone with expertise provides participants with specific information.  
2. topical meeting b) is one that is called to discuss one specific subject
3. seminar c) is also highly structured, but it is used to solicit contributions from participants on a particular topic.  
4 conference d) is used to address a crisis, and they are often called with very little advance notice.
5. An emergency meeting is a regularly scheduled meeting, such as a weekly check-in with employees or a project meeting that occurs every month.

Ex. 2 Speak on different types of meetings

Text 3.Read the text and describe:

1. critical steps of an effective meeting

2. the format of the agenda

3. the purpose of minutes

RUNNING A MEETING

Deciding a meeting's purpose and preparing to hold the meeting are critical steps for an effective meeting. However, if the actual meeting is not properly run, it can be a waste of time and resources for everyone involved. The first and easiest step in running a meeting properly is to start the meeting on time. This indicates respect for meeting participants and their time.

When beginning the meeting, be sure to thank the participants for taking time to attend, and thank those who have done prior preparation for the meeting. Review the purpose of the meeting with the participants and determine who will take minutes of the meeting (if necessary). It may also be necessary to clarify your role in the meeting, which is dependent on the purpose of the meeting.

For instance, if the purpose of the meeting is to come to a group decision on a topic, your role may be to facilitate discussion and decision-making. If the meeting's purpose is to provide information on a new organizational policy and answer questions about that policy, your role will be quite different. You will be an information provider and a representative of the organization. Thus, to ensure smooth interactions in the meeting, it may be helpful to inform participants of your role.

Once the meeting is underway, you may need to establish some guidelines or rules for how the meeting should progress. Many of these guidelines for interaction are understood by members of the organization, but how strong unwritten rules are may depend on the people who attend the meeting. Therefore, there may be times in which it is necessary to establish or reiterate ground rules.

Ground rules might include: meeting attendees must participate in the meeting by providing information or opinions; participants must listen when others are speaking and not interrupt. In some meetings it may be necessary to request that participants maintain confidentiality about what was discussed in the meeting.

Facilitating the meeting can be a daunting task. First, as meeting facilitator, you may have to enforce the established ground rules. For instance, if one participant is dominating discussion and preventing others from voicing opinions, you may need to ask that person to give others a chance to participate. Second, you are responsible for managing the time used in the meetings. It can be very difficult to keep a meeting's momentum and accomplish the tasks set forth in the agenda.

Be mindful of the time, and if necessary, get a meeting participant to help monitor the time. If the time seems to be getting out of hand, you may choose to table a certain topic to be addressed at a later time, or you may ask participants for their suggestions to resolve the impasse and move on.

While it is often difficult to encourage meeting participants to stop discussing a particularly interesting or controversial topic, this is often necessary. At times, you may be able to ask certain participants to gather more information related to a difficult topic, which will be shared in a later meeting and discussed further at thattime.

Most meeting have an agenda. For a formal meting, this document is usually circulated in advance to all participants. For an informal meting, the agenda may be simply a list of the points that have to be dealt with. The purpose of an agenda is to speed up the meeting and keep everyone to the point. The agenda for a formal meeting must be organized in logical order. Often the agenda shows not only the topics but the meeting’s function regarding each topic (‘to receive a report on …’, ‘to confirm…’, ‘to approve …’ etc.). All items on which a decision is to be taken should appear on the agenda, which would usually have this format:

1. Minutes of previous meeting.

2. Mattes arising.

3. Items.

4. Any other business(AOB)

Minutes usually report details of the time, date and duration of the meeting and the names of those present, but the content of the report itself may be detailed or brief, depending on the participated readership

 

Here is an example of an agenda:

Management meeting

AGENDA

Date: 1 March

Time: 14.00

Venue: Room 23M, Shaw House

 

1. Complaints about reception staff.

2. New brochure.

3. Price list for next year.

4. New product presentation.

5. A.O.B.

Always put the title, date, time and venue (place).

Larger meetings and committee meetings may also include the following:

a) Apologies for absence

b) Matters arising from last meeting

c) Correspondence

d) Date of next meeting

Text 4.Read the text and mind the procedure of closing a meeting

CLOSING THE MEETING

Try to end the meeting on time; if necessary, schedule another meeting to address agenda items that need more time. At the close of the meeting, reiterate any conclusions, decisions, or assignments to participants, so that you are sure that you have summarized the meeting properly. Any meeting minutes should reflect these outcomes of the meeting, so that there is a record of tasks and responsibilities that were decided. Often during the course of the meeting, it is easy to forget specific issues that have been resolved.

 

In closing the meeting, you may also want to ask participants to evaluate the effectiveness of the meeting. Participants may be able to identify issues that should be addressed in a memo or another meeting. Additionally, participants may tell you that the meeting was unnecessary, which will aid in future meeting planning. Without such evaluation, unnecessary meetings may continue to be scheduled, or you may have some participants who are absent from future meetings, believing them to be a waste of time.

Regardless of the purpose of the meeting or the way in which it progressed, you should try to close the meeting on a positive note. Even if a meeting has involved difficult discussion or disagreements, try to find something positive to mention. This may be a conclusion that has been reached or a decision about the need for more information, or that all participants have voiced their concerns and that those concerns have been heard.

Finally, be sure to thank all participants for coming to the meeting.

After the meeting, the most critical task is to disseminate information about the conclusions reached in the meeting. This is easily done by distributing the meeting minutes. However, if minutes have not been taken, you should record important outcomes of the meeting as soon as possible after the meeting. The distribution of information regarding the outcomes of the meeting helps participants know that their voices were heard and that the tasks accomplished in the meeting are recognized.

If tasks were assigned for people to complete after the meeting, distribute those via email, memo, or personal request. It is helpful to remind people of the tasks they were asked to do.

Post-meeting follow-up tasks should be carried out as soon as possible. To keep the momentum of the meeting and of the agenda, it is useful to provide information quickly.

 

Text 5. Read the text and speak on the role of videoconferencing in the work of an organization.

TECHNOLOGY-ENABLED MEETINGS

Technology now allows people in remote locations to meet in a way that is similar to face-to-face meetings. Conference telephone calls and videoconferencing are alternatives when parties cannot meet in person.

 

Conference calls are made via telephone, and all parties are able to listen to and speak to one another. Many workplace telephones have the ability to place conference calls, and these calls are relatively inexpensive, especially when compared to the cost of an employee or client traveling long distances to attend a meeting.

 

The major difficulty associated with conference calls is the participants' inability to see one another. Because of this, participants may not know who is speaking; therefore, it is important that individuals identify themselves before speaking. Another problem with not seeing others is that interruptions are common in conference calls; care must be taken to wait for each person to speak in turn. Finally, as with all telephone conversations, facial expressions and eye contact are not possible, and thus, the meaning of a person's words may be lost.

 

Videoconferencing is done through an Internet connection, and it allows participants to see and hear one another through a video or computer screen. Because participants can see one another, many of the limitations associated with telephone conference calls are eliminated. However, many videoconferences have a short time delay; a person speaking in one location must wait for the others in the other location to receive the message. This means that reactions to speaker may lag such that the speaker cannot easily understand the reaction to his or her words.

 

Another major drawback to videoconferencing is that, with increasing use of technology, there is a possibility that others will not have adequate or compatible technology, or that the technology will fail. However, despite potential problems, videoconferencing provides much richer information than a conference call and is still less expensive in many cases than having all participants travel to one location.

Text 6

TROUBLESHOOTING MEETINGS

There are a number of problems that can occur in meeting planning and facilitating. However, if you can determine the cause of the problems, avoiding or eliminating them may lead to more effective meetings.

 

The first problem that you may encounter in meeting management is when participants do not attend meetings consistently. If participants who need to attend meetings are not coming to them, there may be a number of different reasons why, and as a meeting planner, you need to ask the participant his or her reasons for not attending. If participants are forgetting to come to meetings, you may have to provide more reminders of upcoming meetings or schedule them further in advance. In severe cases, you may even have to personally approach participants immediately before a meeting to remind them of their need to attend.

 

A more serious problem occurs when participants choose not to attend meetings. It could be that participants feel that meetings are a waste of their time, or perhaps they feel that their contributions are not valued, or they may even dislike other participants enough to not attend. Although difficult, resolving interpersonal problems may be necessary to get needed participants to attend meetings.

 

A second problem associated with meeting management is when meetings become sidetracked by tangential topics or discussions with no resolution. This problem can be addressed either by improving meeting planning or meeting facilitation. In planning a meeting, if the agenda is not specific enough or if participants do not bring proper information to the meeting, it is easy to get bogged down in discussion that does not result in problem solving. Thus, when meetings become sidetracked, try to determine what the problem is either by observing participants comments or by specifically asking participants what could be done to better focus meetings before they occur.

 

If the problem is not in the meeting planning, then it is in the facilitation. The facilitator must keep meeting participants on track and speak up if discussion meanders. If a facilitator is unwilling to ask participants to save unrelated comments until a later time, or unable to maintain control over the meeting, it will turn into an unproductive session.

 

Another problem associated with meeting management is when members do not participate appropriately, either by dominating the discussion or not contributing to the discussion. The facilitator may need to remind participants of meeting etiquette or ground rules or specifically ask some participants to voice their opinions. If a meeting participant is particularly disruptive, it may be necessary for the facilitator to speak to the person outside of the meeting and request that they allow others more opportunity to contribute. In the worst case, a meeting participant may need to be replaced, particularly if bad behavior is detracting from organizational effectiveness.

 

Successful meeting management is an important management competency. Managers must understand situations that require meetings; the types of meetings; how to plan, run, and close meetings; and how to manage activities after meetings. Furthermore, managers should be able to troubleshoot problems that arise from organizational meetings and know options for technology-enabled meetings.

 

 

Text 7

MEETING STRUCTURE

 

Meetings generally follow a more or less similar structure and can be divided into the following parts:

I - Introductions

· Opening the Meeting

· Welcoming and Introducing Participants

· Stating the Principal Objectives of a Meeting

· Giving Apologies for Someone Who is absent

II - Reviewing Past Business

· Reading the Minutes (notes) of the Last Meeting

· Dealing with Recent Developments

III - Beginning the Meeting

· Introducing the Agenda

· Allocating Roles (secretary, participants)

· Agreeing on the Ground Rules for the Meeting (contributions, timing, decision-making, etc.)

IV - Discussing Items

· Introducing the First Item on the Agenda

· Closing an Item

· Next Item

· Giving Control to the Next Participant

V - Finishing the Meeting

· Summarizing

· Finishing Up

· Suggesting and Agreeing on Time, Date and Place for the Next Meeting

· Thanking Participants for Attending

· Closing the Meeting

 

 

Useful Expressions:

The following pages focus on each part of the meeting and the appropriate language for each situation.

 

Opening the Meeting

Good morning/afternoon, everyone.

If we are all here, let's . . . get started (OR) start the meeting. (OR) . . . start.

 

Welcoming and Introducing Participants

Please join me in welcoming (name of participant)

We're pleased to welcome (name of participant)

It's a pleasure to welcome (name of participant)

I'd like to introduce (name of participant)

I don't think you've met (name of participant)

 

Stating the Principal Objectives of a Meeting

We're here today to

Our aim is to ...

I've called this meeting in order to ...

By the end of this meeting, I'd like to have ...

 

Giving Apologies for Someone Who is Absent

I'm afraid.., (name of participant) can't be with us today. She is in...

I have received apologies for the absence of (name of participant), who is in (place).

 

Reading the Minutes (Notes) of the Last Meeting

First let's go over the report from the last meeting, which was held on (date)

Here are the minutes from our last meeting, which was on (date)

 

Dealing with Recent Developments

Jack, can you tell us how the XYZ project is progressing?

Jack, how is the XYZ project coming along?

John, have you completed the report on the new accounting package?

Has everyone received a copy of the Tate Foundation report on current marketing trends?

 

Moving Forward

So, if there is nothing else we need to discuss, let's move on to today's agenda.

Shall we get down to business?

Is there any other business?

If there are no further developments, I'd like to move on to today's topic.

 

Introducing the Agenda

Have you all received a copy of the agenda?

There are three items on the agenda. First,

Shall we take the points in this order?

If you don't mind, I'd like to ... go in order (OR)

skip item 1 and move on to item 3

I suggest we take item 2 last.

 

Allocating Roles (secretary, participants)

(name of participant) has agreed to take the minutes.

(name of participant) has kindly agreed to give us a report on this matter.

(name of participant) will lead point 1, (name of participant) point 2, and (name of participant) point 3.

(name of participant), would you mind taking notes today?

 

Agreeing on the Ground Rules for the Meeting (contributions, timing, decision-making, etc.)

We will hear a short report on each point first, followed by a discussion round the table.

I suggest we go round the table first.

The meeting is due to finish at...

We'll have to keep each item to ten minutes. Otherwise we'll never get through.

We may need to vote on item 5, if we can't get a unanimous decision.

 

Introducing the First Item on the Agenda

So, let's start with

Shall we start with. .

So, the first item on the agenda is

Pete, would you like to kick off?

Martin, would you like to introduce this item?

 

Closing an Item

I think that covers the first item.

Shall we leave that item?

If nobody has anything else to add,

 

Next Item

Let's move onto the next item

The next item on the agenda is

Now we come to the question of.

 

Giving Control to the Next Participant

I'd like to hand over to Mark, who is going to lead the next point.

Right, Dorothy, over to you.

 

Summarizing

Before we close, let me just summarize the main points.

To sum up, ...

In brief,

Shall I go over the main points?

 

Finishing Up

Right, it looks as though we've covered the main items

Is there Any Other Business?

 

Suggesting and Agreeing on Time, Date and Place for the Next Meeting

Can we fix the next meeting, please?

So, the next meeting will be on... (day), the . . . (date) of.. . (month) at...

What about the following Wednesday? How is that?

So, see you all then.

 

Thanking Participants for Attending

I'd like to thank Marianne and Jeremy for coming over from London.

Thank you all for attending.

Thanks for your participation.

 

Closing the Meeting

The meeting is closed.

I declare the meeting closed.


Dialogue

The following dialogue is an example of a typical business meeting. As you can see from the dialogue, a typical business meeting can be divided into five parts:

This example business meeting is followed by the two sections which provide key language and phrases appropriate for typical business meetings.

 

Introductions

Meeting Chairman: If we are all here, let's get started. First of all, I'd like you to please join me in welcoming Jack Peterson, our Southwest Area Sales Vice President.

Jack Peterson: Thank you for having me, I'm looking forward to today's meeting.

Meeting Chairman: I'd also like to introduce Margaret Simmons who recently joined our team.

Margaret Simmons: May I also introduce my assistant, Bob Hamp.

Meeting Chairman: Welcome Bob. I'm afraid our national sales director, Anne Trusting, can't be with us today. She is in Kobe at the moment, developing our Far East sales force.

 

Reviewing Past Business

 

Meeting Chairman: Let's get started. We're here today to discuss ways of improving sales in rural market areas. First, let's go over the report from the last meeting which was held on June 24th. Right, Tom, over to you.

Tom Robbins: Thank you Mark. Let me just summarize the main points of the last meeting. We began the meeting by approving the changes in our sales reporting system discussed on May 30th. After briefly revising the changes that will take place, we moved on to a brainstorming session concerning after sales customer support improvements. You'll find a copy of the main ideas developed and discussed in these sessions in the photocopies in front of you. The meeting was declared closed at 11.30.

 

Beginning the Meeting

Meeting Chairman: Thank you Tom. So, if there is nothing else we need to discuss, let's move on to today's agenda. Have you all received a copy of today's agenda? If you don't mind, I'd like to skip item 1 and move on to item 2: Sales improvement in rural market areas. Jack has kindly agreed to give us a report on this matter. Jack?

 

Discussing Items

 

Jack Peterson: Before I begin the report, I'd like to get some ideas from you all. How do you feel about rural sales in your sales districts? I suggest we go round the table first to get all of your input.

John Ruting: In my opinion, we have been focusing too much on urban customers and their needs. The way I see things, we need to return to our rural base by developing an advertising campaign to focus on their particular needs.

Alice Linnes: I'm afraid I can't agree with you. I think rural customers want to feel as important as our customers living in cities. I suggest we give our rural sales teams more help with advanced customer information reporting.

Donald Peters: Excuse me, I didn't catch that. Could you repeat that, please?

Alice Linnes: I just stated that we need to give our rural sales teams better customer information reporting.

John Ruting: I don't quite follow you. What exactly do you mean?

Alice Linnes: Well, we provide our city sales staff with database information on all of our larger clients. We should be providing the same sort of knowledge on our rural customers to our sales staff there.

Jack Peterson: Would you like to add anything, Jennifer?

Jennifer Miles: I must admit I never thought about rural sales that way before. I have to agree with Alice.

Jack Peterson: Well, let me begin with this Power Point presentation (Jack presents his report).

Jack Peterson: As you can see, we are developing new methods to reach out to our rural customers.

John Ruting: I suggest we break up into groups and discuss the ideas we've seen presented.

 

Finishing the Meeting

Meeting Chairman: Unfortunately, we're running short of time. We'll have to leave that to another time.

Jack Peterson: Before we close, let me just summarize the main points:

Rural customers need special help to feel more valued.

Our sales teams need more accurate information on our customers.

A survey will be completed to collect data on spending habits in these areas.

The results of this survey will be delivered to our sales teaMs

We are considering specific data mining procedures to help deepen our understanding.

Meeting Chairman: Thank you very much Jack. Right, it looks as though we've covered the main items Is there any other business?

 

Donald Peters: Can we fix the next meeting, please?

Meeting Chairman: Good idea Donald. How does Friday in two weeks time sound to everyone? Let's meet at the same time, 9 o'clock. Is that OK for everyone? Excellent. I'd like to thank Jack for coming to our meeting today. The meeting is closed.

 


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