Organizational Consultation XXIII: Empowerment (Part Three)
Huber offers five suggestions to the leader or staff member who is preparing for a meeting. First, he suggests that key information must be available—and preferably given out to group members prior to the meeting. The domain of ideas is always closely related to the domain of information. Second, Huber suggests that the leader make sure that those who will be affected get to participate—this is critical if the group is to be appreciative in its functioning. Third, past practices must not dictate group membership. As noted in the Ten Commandments, each participant should be asked to attend for a specific reason. Fourth, Huber suggests that a group leader should be appointed who is group-oriented yet willing and able to exert appropriate levels of control. Finally, the group leader should consider having different members participate in different parts of the overall assignment.
Huber offers five additional guidelines regarding ways to direct the meeting once the group has been convened. First, help the group members get acquainted. This can be done by sending each member of the group a brief biographical sketch of other members before the first meeting, perhaps in conjunction with a description of group assignments or schedules of meetings. Alternatively, a social time might be arranged before the first meeting enabling group members to meet informally. Introductions can be made at the first meeting, and break periods can be used during long meetings to further the acquaintance process.
Huber offers a second guideline: help the group follow the plan. This is done by reviewing the progress of the group to date at the start of each meeting and by soliciting pre-assigned reports from all group members at an early point in the meeting. The plan is also likely to be followed if the leader frequently summarizing what has been accomplished, where this puts the group on its schedule, and what the group’s task will be at the end of each meeting.
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