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Chapter 6. Meetings: Time-Wasters or Pro... > End Meetings with a Bang - Pg. 66

Meetings: Time-Wasters or Productivity Tool? 66 Hold back presenting your views until after the discussion. If the group comes up with the same solution as you have, congratulate them on their thinking and give them the credit for it. If, out of the discussion, new or better ideas evolve, accept them easily and don't feel forced to withdraw or defend your original position. Team Builder One way to stimulate team participation in the meeting is to require each team member to bring an index card on which he or she has written an original idea on the subject of the meeting. Tell the person this is his or her "ticket of admission." Collect the cards as they enter and read the contents to the group. End Meetings with a Bang By the time the meeting ends, participants should be clear about the subjects discussed. Give them a chance to ask questions. The leader should summarize what has been accomplished and check to ensure that if any team members received assignments during the meeting, they understand what they will do and when they will do it. Get Questions from Team Members Most team meetings are informal, and questions from participants are encouraged at any time during the meeting. However, there are occasions when meetings may be more formal, and a question- and-answer period is held at the end. This gives the meeting leader the chance to clarify points, reemphasize the message, and, if necessary, rebut arguments from opponents. Following are some suggestions to make this period more effective: · Set a time limit. This gives you control over the duration of the session. · People are often reluctant to ask the first question. Raise your arm and ask, "Who has the first question?" If nobody volunteers, prime the pump. "When I discuss this subject a question I often hear is ..." · Keep answers brief. This is not the time to make another full presentation. · If a person disagrees with you, don't get defensive. Respond to the question. Comment that you respect the right of others to have their own viewpoint. · If you don't know the answer to a question, admit it. At the end of the question period, invite questions from those who didn't have a chance to ask any. Make Assignments If decisions are made at the meeting, members should be assigned to put them into action. The leader may ask for a volunteer or may appoint a team member to carry out the assignment. FYI