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How Really Job interviews Work

The group reaches a decision. Group members who advocated different solutions put aside their objections, either because they are convinced that the majority solution is better or because they recognize their arguing is futile.
i.        Reinforcement phase
Group feeling is rebuilt, and the solution is summarized. Individual members are given their assignments for carrying out the group’s decision, and agreements are made for following upon these agreements.

Activity 9.1
1.      What are the four phases of the group decision making process?
2.      Participants of a meeting play different roles during the meeting. One of these is group maintenance role. Explain this roles. 

9.4. Arranging the Meeting

Arranging and running a successful business meeting is one of the challenging and difficult task. This section presents you the steps that you could apply while arranging a meeting.

Steps in arranging a business meeting
Dear learners, if you are given the chance to prepare a meeting what are the producer you are going to follow? Can you mention them?

As we said earlier, meeting is a purposeful activity. To achieve the purpose some steps must be taken to ensure that meetings are productive. Careful planning of four elements - purpose, participants, agenda and location-is the key. The trick is to bring the right people together in the right place for just enough time to accomplish your goals. Therefore, dear learners you have to follow the following steps while you prepare a meeting:

1.      Determining the purpose
Dear learners, the first step in preparing a meeting is determining the purpose of the meeting. This is because meetings are expensive, so before you call one, satisfy yourself that a meeting is the best way to achieve the goal (whether it is really needed). Generally, the purpose of meeting can be categorized as informational or decision-making. An informational meeting is called so that the participants can share information and possibly, coordinate actions. This type of meeting may involve individual briefings by each participant or a speech by the leader followed by questions from the attendees.

Decision-making meetings are mainly concerned with persuasion, analysis, and problem solving.  These meetings tend to be somewhat less predictable than informational meetings.  In planning a decision making meeting bear in mind that your purpose is to develop a course of action that the group can support. Therefore, each participant must be aware of the nature of the problem and the criteria for its solution.

2.      Selecting participants
In any organizations, being invited to this or that meeting is a mark of status, and as the one calling the meeting, you may be reluctant to leave someone out.

But despite the pressure to include everyone even remotely concerned, try to invite only those whose presence is essential.  The number of participants should reflect the purpose of the meeting. 

If the session is purely informational and one person will be doing most of the talking, you can include a relatively large group.

However, if you are trying to solve a problem, develop a plan or reach a decision, you should try to limit participation to between four and seven people. The more people who attend the more comments and confusion you are likely to get and the longer the whole thing will take.

Although you don’t want to invite too many people, be sure to include those who can make an important contribution and those who are key decision makers.  Holding a meeting to decide an important matter is pointless if the people with the necessary information aren’t there.

3.      Setting the agenda
Agenda refers to the list of items to be discussed in a meeting. Although the nature of a meeting may sometimes prevent you from developing a fixed agenda, you should at least prepare a list of matters to be discussed. Once the agenda is prepared, distribute them to the participants several days before the meeting so that participants can be prepared in advance.

4.       Reserve the location and fix the time
Before the meeting you have to make sure that the venue is arranged taking in to account the size of the participants and their status. For work sessions, morning meetings are usually more productive than afternoon Sessions. Give attention to the small details that help participants focus on the task at hand.  Consider the setting arrangements. Are rows of chairs suitable, or do you need a conference table? Give some attention to such details as room temperature lighting ventilation acoustics and refreshments. These things may seem trivial, but they can make or break a meeting.

5.      Running a productive meeting
Whether the meeting is conducted electronically or conventionally its success depends largely on how effective the leader is.  If the leader is prepared and has selected the participants carefully, the meeting will generally by productive. The following are the duties of the meeting chairperson:

A.  Pacing the meeting
The leader should avoid being so domineering that he closes off suggestions, but he shouldn’t be so passive that re loses control of the group.  If the discussion lags, call on those who have not been heard from.  Pace the presentation and discussion so you will have time to complete the agenda.  As time begins to run out interrupt the discussion and summarize what has been accomplished.

B.   Appointing a note taker
The other leadership task is either to arrange for someone to record the proceedings or to ask a participant to take notes during the meeting.

C.  Following the agenda
The leader is also expected to follow the agenda; participates have prepared for the meeting on the basis of the announced agenda.  However the basis of the leader shouldn’t be rigid.  He should allow enough time for discussion, and give people a chance to raise related issues. If he cuts off the discussion too quickly or limit the subject too narrowly, no real consensus can emerge.

D.  Stimulating participation and discussion
As the meeting gets underway the leader will discover that some participants are too quite, others too talkative.  In draw out the shy types, he may ask for this input on issues that particularly pertain to them.

He might say something like “Helen, you’ve done a lot of work in this area what do you think?”  For the overly talkative, he may simply say that time is limited and others need to be heard from.

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