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 -
||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.
||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.
||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).
||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.
||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.
||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
||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.
||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.