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Leadership Development, Question 4

Describe four barriers to running an effective meeting and discuss how you would overcome each barrier. (minimum 50 words each)

1. Meeting without purpose

ADF has a requirement that our Groves have a business meeting once per month, which means that even if there seems to be no purpose, a Grove must have a business meeting. This means that occasionally, an SD or GO may need to create a reason for a business meeting in advance, if it seems like there may not be a reason for such a meeting. That said, any other type of meeting (liturgy, DP, or lore meetings) should be cancelled if there is no reason to hold them, rather than held just because they are scheduled.

2. Lack of preparation

By reviewing notes from previous meetings in advance and following up on action items and committee chairs, the chair of the meeting can manage two issues at once: A) he or she can be prepared for the meeting and ensure that the meeting will run smoothly, and B) the chairperson can also ensure that the action items have been followed up on by the persons responsible, preventing the meeting from encountering deadspace when no action has been taken.

3. Too many hands on deck

While all meetings can be derailed if key participants are not at the meeting, many can also be derailed if there are too many people at the meeting. It is important for meetings to remain focused and that the key stakeholders are not accidentally outvoted or overwhelmed by people who either have no interest or who are uninformed about the items being discussed. Again, ADF requires business meetings for Groves to be open to the public, which means that it can be hard to focus who attends, but by indicating that business meetings are not social functions (and by not treating them as such), the number of members attending can be reduced to a manageable number.

4. Group-think

Occasionally, an individual will come up with an idea and present it at a meeting, and then the idea will be accepted and promoted at that meeting by everyone present, but it will never face serious challenge, either because no one wants to hurt the feelings of the member by critiquing it, or because no one thinks to critique the idea at the time. It is important to take the time to review all ideas and promote an atmosphere where "critique" does not mean (and is not assumed to mean) "tear apart" or "find fault with." By promoting an atmosphere where everyone can critique without fear of hurting someone's feelings, we can avoid "group-think."


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