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close this bookHundred Tips for a Better Management (Aga Khan Foundation, 1993, 70 pages)
close this folderRunning effective meetings
View the document(introductory text...)
View the document9. Before you call a meeting, decide if you should have one at all
View the document10. If you must have a meeting, plan how to get the most out of it
View the document11. Guide your team in having more effective discussions
View the document12. Start on time; End on time
View the document13. How to chair a meeting
View the document14. Don't sit on the results of a good meeting; follow up with a plan of action
View the document15. Maximise what you can get out of a ''brainstorming'' session

11. Guide your team in having more effective discussions

[References - 12]

Effective discussions lead to effective meetings. Knowing how to guide a discussion and get the most out of participants is equally important to planning and structuring a meeting.

The following techniques can help you to facilitate discussions and thus improve the effectiveness of your meetings:

  • Ask for clarification when necessary. If a point or a term is not understood, try to rephrase or illustrate it so that it becomes clear.


  • Act as a facilitator to regulate more aggressive members, encourage the participation of quieter ones, avoid unnecessary conflicts. Let everyone feel that their opinions are valued.


  • Listen to all ideas. Don't interpret or draw conclusions about what is being said until it's been said.


  • Try to avoid lengthy, irrelevant discussions.


  • Test for consensus by asking the group if there is agreement with a decision or point. Do not assume consensus has been reached.


  • End the meeting when no additional discussion is necessary.


  • Check to see whether your objectives were met.