Effective Problem Solving Meetings

Make Your Next Business Meeting Flow Smoothly. Use the Guidelines for Conducting a Meeting.Just a few nights ago, I briefly attended the graduation of our Leadership Training for Managers program. During that program, I picked up one of the booklets entitled “Effective Problem Solving Meetings” that was left on a table.

Feeling a bit nostalgic, I reminisced about the days of the “old” Dale Carnegie Course where we learned about conducting effective meetings. These strategies have since been relegated to the Leadership Training for Managers program, and the Dale Carnegie Course now covers additional topics concerning interpersonal skills and communication. But I know of a few Dale Carnegie Course instructors who still try to sneak in a few of the strategies when conducting small group sessions.

When you are leading a meeting, some of the guidelines are:

This one I find particularly interesting. I spent several years in the Toastmasters organization and held several governing functions for several clubs and territories. I know that parliamentary procedures are written somewhere in the bylaws of Toastmasters and regularly touted as a staple for clubs.

Parliamentary procedures, however, are no joke. Out of all of the clubs I have been a participated in, I can think of only one that adhered to parliamentary procedure rigorously. That club was TGIF Management in Sunnyvale, California. I even kept my copy of Roberts Rules of Order, just in case I might ever need it!

However, in every other club I attended, the members tended to use the skills and techniques that they brought from their workplace meetings, which were some variation of the guidelines outlined above.

Oh, before I forget, there were two more:

Parliamentary procedures are great if you happen to be a member of Congress, conducting a meeting with a large governing body, or if you a member of Toastmasters. Most of us in business, however, need the meeting to be executed in a timely fashion, we need to have some immediate action happen after a meeting ends and we need to show some results in a reasonable time frame. Moreover, we have to accomplish this while recognizing that we are dealing with human beings.

The next time you are in a Dale Carnegie Class, or if you know a Dale Carnegie Course Instructor, ask them about the guidelines for leading a meeting and the guidelines for participating in a meeting. You will come away with some insights to make your next business meeting more productive.

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