The workplace - Meetings (Has anything been decided in the meeting?)

11 important questions on The workplace - Meetings (Has anything been decided in the meeting?)

Which six stages do business meetings usually have?

  1. Meeting preparation
  2. Pre-meeting
  3. Opening of meeting
  4. Discussion of the agenda
  5. Closing of meeting
  6. Post-meeting effects

What happens during the meeting preparation?

It includes preparation and circulation of the agenda and relevant documents and follow-up from the previous meeting.

What happens during the opening of meeting?

If it is a regular internal meeting, the transition stage can be short and perfunctory. If it is the first external meeting, an effort will be made to agree on the agenda and aims and objectives of the meeting.
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What happens during the closing of meeting?

It can be short or circuitous depending on the relationship between participants and the frequency of meetings. People can move to make a meta-comment on the structure of the discussion, signal the change in the move, and make an evaluation.

What happens during the post-meeting effects?

It concerns the impact of the meeting on the subsequent chain of events.

What is the general consensus regarding meetings?

Meetings constitute a distinct genre with many similar features across formal and informal meetings.

Which features do meetings share?

  • The role of the chair usually consists of opening and closing the meeting, introduction of items on the agenda, moving between agenda items, turn allocation, sanctioning inappropriate conduct.
  • Some significant linguistic features and key words are identifiable: personal pronouns, back-channels, hedges, specialised lexis, evaluation.
  • Turn-taking dynamics are related to the status of the individuals and to their level of expertise.
  • Factors significant in the participants' perceived expertise and status.

Which four categories of factors are significant in the participants' perceived expertise and status?

  1. generic social category (race, ethnicity, gender), appearance (attractiveness, height), age, education;
  2. generic behaviours: language (accent, grammar), dress (wealth, style), bearing (poise, style, confidence), dominance (expressing anger, eye contact, posture expansion);
  3. specific attributes: task experience (tenure, level), task qualification (certifications, specialised degree), task specialisation (job title), past task success (awards, cv);
  4. specific behaviours: non-verbal task confidence (factual tone, fast/fluent speech, relaxed posture), verbal task confidence (claiming expertise), and task skill (citing facts, performing analyses, proposing solutions).

What are some of the concerns facing non-native speakers in their participation and performance in meetings?

  • Interrupting speakers spontaneously; communicating difficult messages politely; fine-tuning statements diplomatically
  • Interrupting speakers sometimes difficult as is expressing small but important differences in opinion/feeling
  • This limitation does not prevent me from participating but I feel less efficacy in expressing my thoughts
  • Difficulties in finding adequate words for immediate reaction in a discussion. Then it is easy to be quiet. This is in comparison with discussions in my mother tongue
  • Difficult to understand speakers who speak in low volume and/or too fast

What happens during the discussion of the agenda?

This is the core component of a meeting and it often takes the form of problem-solving, with issues put forward for discussion.

Which two ways of problem-solving patterns in the meeting exist?

  1. Linear: each problem is solved before moving on to the next.
  2. Spiral: issues related to a problem may occur several times at different points of the discussion.

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