Project Management Checklist - Tips for Chairing a Meeting

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Project Management Checklists: General Principles of Project Management

Checklist Category: Arranging Meetings

Download: Checklist "Tips on how to chair a Project Meeting successfully" (.pdf)


Project Management Checklist: Arranging Meetings
- Tips on how to chair a Project Meeting successfully -

Item Task Details
1 Give a fresh impetus to the discussion
  • Do not wait too long after questions.
  • Provide additional explanation for the topic.
  • Address an eloquent participant directly.
  • Give a concrete example/ comparison.
  • Quote public opinions or the comment of an external person on the topic.
  • Ask chain questions which you visualize.
2 Moderate unobjective discussions
  • Appeal to the adherence of the agreed discussion rules.
  • Remind participants of the key points and the objective of the meeting.
    • Search for a solution that will stand the test of time
  • Name facts and figures.
  • Quote an expert who is accepted by the participants.
3 Encourage disciplined behavior in the discussions
  • At the beginning of the meeting, agree on requests to speak to be made by raising your hands.
  • Make it clear that you, as the chair, have noticed the request to speak.
  • Give participants the floor in the order they requested to speak unless a different order imposes itself on thematic grounds (give brief reason).
  • Delay contributions which are not subject-related (make a note and return to them again later, if necessary).
4 Keep track of things
  • Choose a seat where you can keep eye contact with all participants.
  • Keep a flip chart or a notebook ready for visualizations.
5 Postpone discussion points
  • Make it clear why it is necessary to interrupt the discussion (missing information etc.)
  • Briefly summarize results as well as the issues on which consensus exists.
  • Allocate tasks stating clearly who should do what, by when in order to prepare the decisions to be made at the next meeting.
6 Get complex topics under control
  • Illustrate topics by using a concrete example
  • Discuss the pros and cons on the basis of the example chosen
  • Make a note of the result of this case
  • Proceed in a similar way with further examples
  • Finally, point out the differences between the various cases
  • Insert interim summaries
    • at the end of an item
    • after certain sections
    • at the end of a rather long contribution to the discussion
  • What for?
    • Make a note of interim results
    • Identify and point out particular items again
    • Put redundant contributions in a nutshell; summarize briefly
    • Concretize unspecific statements
    • Stop discussions which threaten to get out of hand
7 Avoid meeting pitfalls
  • Use hypotheses in the absence of information or other prerequisites necessary to make a decision ("Let's assume … Provided that … What if …?")
  • Use this to illustrate situations which lie in the future.
  • Parting from these assumptions, work out alternatives.
8 Create a positive atmosphere
  • To begin with, respond positively even to none too pleasant contributions (on the interpersonal level).
  • Then, justify your opinion while sticking to the facts.
  • Repel personal attacks against other participants by repeating the statement in a more objective way.
  • In the case of incomprehensible contributions, ask the participant to give an example or to visualize his/her suggestion.
  • Address the participants directly and keep eye contact.


Download

Project Management Checklist:
Tips on how to Chair a Project Meeting Successfully
(free download)