February 26, 2009

Business and Group Meetings


Background of Information on Groups:

Definition of a Group Meeting:
Two or more people gathering together for purposive discourse between them is called Group meeting. .
It is of mainly of two types:
  1. Informal Group
  2. Formal Group
Informal Group:- Informal or casual meeting also makes up groups. The meeting which takes place without plan or for social occasion’s is called Informal group. These groups are common.
For example you and your friend meet to socialize, meet after work, etc. Such meetings build rapport between people and can be basis for later formal meeting.

Formal Group:- It is often called task-oriented groups. Formal groups often search for answer to overcoming problems, look for a course of action, make recommendations to a higher authority. That means this meeting takes place to change policy, make decision, and decide beginning steps to implement a solutions.

Formation of Groups:
All or most of groups go through four formative stages in becoming a group:
  • Forming:-Here the group tries to get started. It is the orientation phase for group members.
  • Storming:-Members begin to stake out their positions; they begin to have conflicts and arguments.
  • Norming:-Progress begins here. Members work to solve conflicts and recognize acceptable kinds of conduct.
  • Performing:-Here the group begins to achieve its goals.
Following are the phases for forming of groups:
  • Orientation:-Here discussion is free-flowing; people orally wander about, each trying to focus on asking questions. Here too, questions are numerous: Members try to inform, ask further questions. Here member’s convictions are tentative and somewhat ambiguous.
  • Conflict:-After the preliminary sparring is over, members begin to offer opinions, evidence in support of their position. At this phase initial conflicts occur. There may even be resistance to the agreed-upon task.
  • Emergence:-Open exchanges continue; members begin to search for ways of truly solving the problem. Compromises occur, and there is a decrease in conflict and sincere movement toward decreasing differences in opinion.
  • Solutions:-A positive attitude exists at this phase. Options have been discussed, and criteria for measuring those options have been viewed. Now is the time to complete the task and agree upon a solution.
Purpose and kinds of Meeting:
We noted that meeting has two core purposes: to present information and to help solve problems obviously both purpose occurs in all meetings. Three kinds of meetings help achieve these objectives.
1. Informational meetings:
Information meeting seek only to clarify to make something clear to give information.
Reviewing the following list: All were actual meeting topics in various companies
  • changes in reporting procedure in the purchasing department
  • report on the company’s strategic plan for the next fiscal year
  • announcement of the new mission statement
  • retirement planning for those over 50
  • cultural differences between British and finish organization
  • document needed for working relationships with Thailand’s national energy policy committee
At each of these meeting the members learned, asked question, sought to understand no problem were solved; no recommendation for change occurred. In each case there was an opening statement by the caller of the meeting and then a discussion. Participants came to the meeting with one pivotal purpose: to be informed, to understand the information.

2. Suggested solutions meetings:
Visualize this situation, a manager decides to receives input from her staff on an issue; she decides to receive preliminary recommendation before solving the issue. The complete scenario may run like this
  • A supervisor senses a problem and decides a meeting to review options and review option on addressing the problem the goal purely exploratory
  • A memo or E-mail is sent to all staffers asking for possible option on removing the problem
  • Suggestions are tabulated and distributed to all respondents
  • A meeting is called to discuss all possible options
The managers and the review committee review a recommendation’s. Comments on the options occur at the meeting. Often no decisions are made. The meeting is exploratory and informational. Then a final recommendation is prepared either for higher approval or group consensus

3. Problem solving meetings
No group identically proceeds in trying to solve a problem, most often variation of problem, solution, benefit, action steps occur Problem, steps, benefit, action, these are some steps to trace the most common process in solving problem typical of the business world often
  • The major problem is presented early in the morning
  • Participants suggests solution, discussing and evaluating them
  • Participants arrive at a decision for further action
All these steps involved in this process are discussed in the following section

4. Solving problems in meetings or groups
Because the problem solving meetings requires the most careful planning and supervision by the leader and rational discussion by the participants, the reminder of this chapter focuses on the problem solution meeting. You can, of course, use most of the suggestion for all type of meetings.

5. Procedure during the meeting
Firstly learn from other group leaders; note all those actions & procedures that you feel, makes them effective group leaders. Avoid all those leadership characteristics that you feel, makes a negative effect.

Leadership responsibilities in Meeting:
When you are appointed as a chairperson, you have major responsibilities; it is up to you to lead a group through the intricate process of resolving an issue. You should know about the three different kinds of leadership and its functions-before, during and after the meeting-to be effective
KINDS OF LEADERSHIP:-We suggest that styles of leadership are on a continuum from authoritarian through democratic to leaderless;
  • Authoritarian:-Avoid the following characteristics typical of an authoritarian leader:
    • Show contempt for some members,
    • Dominates the discussion,
    • Praise those who agree with her or his position,
    • Speaks often and loudly,
    • Issues orders and commands,
    • Suggests that higher authority supports his or her position.
  • Leaderless:-This is almost as lead as the authoritarian style, but here the leader gives all direction and decision making steps to others. This kind of people believes in shared leadership, allowing high-ability people to run the meeting. While sometimes successful, there is need for someone to offer some guidance some positive feedback to the group that something has been achieved.
  • Democratic participation:-You live in a democracy; you also know that all points of view have the right to be heard. The decision is made totally by the group and not a single individual work. Your work is to help the group to make the best decision possible rather than force them into it; you facilitate productive group discussion, invite minority opinions and clarify vague statements, etc. To achieve such a lofty profile is possible-with work. Realize that business discussions take time, are frequently disorganized are in need of good guidance before, during and after a meeting.

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