Sara El Kareh
All what is required for an effective meeting is a suitable preparation. This will include the agendas that are already set and distributed, the participants that are aware of the subjects that will be discussed and will be well-informed for better negotiations. Moreover, all issues will be solved and discussed prior to the meeting.
However, many meetings end up ineffective and useless, or in other words, they fail. Many reasons play a role in this failure. Here are some:
- When the meeting is pointless and will be discussing unimportant issues, and therefore wastes the time of all participants.
- When the meeting has no clear target. In other words, the objectives are not defined in a clear way for members to participate effectively.
- When the person leading the meeting does not give the chance for others to give opinions or ideas, and just says what he/she has to say.
- When the leader does not have control over the meeting, and lets other members lead the progress of the discussions.
- When the meeting includes many participants, which creates difficulties in the flow of contribution among the members.
- When the decisions taken are not the right ones.
- When talking about the issues and not reaching a solution for them.
- When the decisions made are delayed or not put in action.
- When the meeting leads to no decisions.
- When the duration of the meeting is manipulated by the leader for personal purposes.
- When the participants are those who should not be present, therefore the meeting cannot continue effectively. For example, when the members are ones who need to refer to others, thus they cannot interfere or contribute effectively.
Meetings differ in types, and also differ in the reasons of their ineffectiveness. In order to end up with an effective meeting, all the participants should be able to contribute and share opinions. Therefore, interpersonal communication skills are crucial, and so are the listening skills.
Finally, and as a brief explanation, preparation plays a very important role in the success of the meeting, as well as the efforts the leader makes. When both factors are available, all the participants will not consider their time wasted and will get a very positive feedback for the meeting that gave them the sense of accomplishment.