Saturday, March 18, 2006

Meetings, Bloody Meetings & Conflict Management.

Anyway, today my Early Childhood Professional class watched a video during Early Childhood Professional on "Meetings, Bloody Meetings (British) starring John Cleese, and Conflict Management (Australian).

John Cleese is a good actor, and the production was well directed. As I watched it, it helped me to reflect and think about my own perspective on how meetings were chaired, and I realised that a lot of "so called" leaders were very bad at chairing meetings, as that was brought home to me tonight.

It definitely brought back a lot of food for thought. The art and technique of being able to chair meetings reflect a lot on oneself as a leader and how it reflects the image of the company and the organisation.

The question is, many of us do not realise it as we have not been exposed to what is good strategies and techniques of chairing meetings, and even if we were, we did not realise why it was the way it is.

These are some of the things we hve to do when planning for meetings.

1) PLAN: WHAT is the meeting for?
- Have an agenda.
-Make sure everyone is clear of the intentions.
-The agenda allows and is a brief for others to work from.
- Planning allows Leaders to KISS the meeting. (KEEP IT SHORT AND SIMPLE) without wasting precious work time.

2) INFORM: Make it clear to everyone what is to be discussed, why, What you want from the discussion. ANTICIPATE.

3) PREPARE: Allocate time and make connections between the list on the agenda.

- State proposition, state argument and evidence.

4) STRUCTURE & CONTROL: Take the evidence before the interpretation.

5) SUMMARISE & RECORD: Record straight away decisions made during the discussion.

The other was Conflict Resolution.

This is even relevant in an Early Childhood Setting, where teachers and principals have to deal with irate parents who may feel that the school may have neglected their responsiblity or feel that their child is not learning in school.

It talked about how we have to disengage ourselves from a stressfult situation and TAKE ONE STEP BACK so that we can SEE THINGS A LITTLE BIT MORE CLEARER than what we think it is.

Many a times, we use the avoid/flight strategy in avoiding conflict, instead of accepting conflict as part of life, and when that happens, the conflict situation becomes worst, and instead of solving the problem it aggravates the problem to become even bigger.

Most importantly, DO NOT REACT to an accusation or a situation, but listen to the other party's perspective or what they may have to say, i.e the IRATE PARENT.
The teacher should then emphatise with the parent.(agree. agree. agree). Customer is always the BOSS (LOL).

In the short term, we blame others and this creates a whole lot of stress....and snowballs into something bigger. By stepping back and looking at the facts, and emphatising with others, it helps to diffuse the situation (event though that MAY BE a very difficult thing to do!!)

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