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Business Meeting Manual

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In business settings, people spend an inordinate amount of time and energy in meetings. Regardless of whether the setting is a corporate organization, a non-profit entity, or a small business, meetings are a common way for individuals to come together to share information or to make decisions. In Kirkpatrick’s (1987) book, How to Plan and Conduct Productive Business Meetings, he seeks to dissect the meeting and then reconstruct it in a more productive manner; Kirkpatrick (1987) also provides insights into areas of communication and into how I can create more productive meetings in my workplace.

Summary of Book

According to Kirkpatrick (1987), “this manual has only one objective: to help you conduct more productive meetings” (pg. x); this objective is the key premise of the book. As a secondary premise, the author explores whether a meeting is necessary.

First, Kirkpatrick (1987) explains that not all meetings are necessary or desirable (pg. 11). He gives five types of meetings to consider: “Information-Giving Meeting…Information-Getting Meeting…Problem-Solving Meeting…Attitude-Creating Meeting…Instructional Meeting” (pg. 11-13). Each type of meeting has a central activity such as writing a report or a memo or making an executive decision without having a meeting. Each alternative activity has pros and cons, but sometimes the disadvantages of having a meeting far outweigh the advantages. It is Kirkpatrick’s (1987) hope that individuals will consider whether or not a meeting is necessary before moving forward with the decision to hold the meeting.

Secondly, Kirkpatrick (1987) outlines that when meetings are necessary, they are often unproductive. Kirkpatrick (1987) explains that nonproductive meetings cost money, ...

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...l tips on how to help meetings become more productive, and Kirkpatrick did offer a few. For instance, Kirkpatrick’s techniques to prepare for a meeting, control a meeting, and evaluate a meeting are hands-on ways to help make the meetings I run more productive. In fact, I plan to schedule planning and evaluating time before and after meetings in order to accomplish the tasks suggested by Kirkpatrick (1987).

This book would be useful for any manager in any type of organizational setting who is either involved in planning meetings or participating in meetings. Regardless of how well they currently think their meetings are running, Kirkpatrick (1987) offers techniques to improve their productivity.

Works Cited

Kirkpatrick, Donald. (1987). How to plan and conduct productive business meetings (2nd ed.).

New York, NY: American Management Association.
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