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on January 17, 1998
Although this book is quite dated (originally published in 1976 and not updated for its recent printing) it is a comprehensive look at what it takes to plan, execute and evaluate effective meetings. It pushes this 'Interaction Method" which puts heavy emphasis on the role of a Facilitator. The facilitator's job is to "shepherd" the meeting to allow for everyone's points of view to be heard, ensure that the meeting progresses towards its stated ends and steps in to assist in resolving conflicts that may arise. Implicit in this role is that the Facilitator does not express his or her opinion regarding any matters that may arise during the course of the meeting. I found the following chapters most useful for me: Ch. 11 What Type of Meeting Are You Going to Hold? This was great for me in that it called out the general "types" of which are to be had and talks about how to decide which type your organization is engaged in and how to get all participants to buy in to what is to be addressed. The general types are: Problem solving, Decision-making, Planning, Reporting/Presenting, and Feedback. I also liked chapter 15: How to put it all together: The Agenda. It's the simplest thing, but it is so often overlooked, it's scary. How about calling out the specific ends the body wishes to achieve and including that as part of the Agenda. Being able to know, going in, what we wish to accomplish in this meeting must have a beneficial effect on participants who heretofore have regarded meetings as nothing more than a nuisance that must be tolerated. It also requires the person calling the meeting to determine proactively what the meeting is FOR. This should result in the reduction of the "just because" meetings. While it is a bit too long (could have been a third of the size) and it is dated, I did find it a quick, useful read.
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on March 2, 2003
Although at first glance I was skeptical, this book provided great insight into running a meeting that participants will actually enjoy and get something out of. It was not just a repeat of the things I already knew. After reading this book and implementing some of the ideas, people noticed the improvements from clear agendas which stated the purpose, to the approach used during the meeting to make sure we were all aligned and in agreement on what we were to achieve. I highly recommend this book.
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on October 1, 1998
I've used this book as a constant reference over the last six years while a facilitator for BPR and Change Management projects. Although it may lack a comprehensive array of practical exercies and techniques for all situations that arise in meetings or during facilitated focus group sessions, it is by far the best reference. Once you read, re-read, and fully understand the basics that Doyle and Straus are presenting, you can modify and add your own experience and methods.
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on July 21, 1998
This book offers a thorough grounding in Facilitation 101. A section I found particularly useful was the one which addressed problem-solving. This section takes the reader through the process step by step.
I wish the book offered more practical exercises for facilitators to use in their work. But since there are other books devoted entirely to exercises, this is a minor complaint.
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on February 22, 1999
The Interaction method is what every person who attends or organises a meeting should read. Learn how to attend and hold effective meetings that start on time and finish on time. Learn how to be effective and reduce your working week.
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on January 25, 2001
of all the things that we learn in school, how to more effectively manage a meeting is not one of them, but should be. i wish i had read this many years ago. everyone who joins our team receives a copy in their first week.
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on May 18, 1999
Doyle/Strauss have written the classic in meeting design, facilitation and management. It is easy to read and use; the standard guidbook that everyone uses.
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