Preparing For A Discussion – Getting It Right First Time

Managing a discussion can be a tricky task especially if the subject matter is slightly contentious or potentially challenging for those taking part.

Try the following simple steps to get the discussion that you want with the outcomes that you are able to work with.

  1. Are you clear about the purpose of the planned discussion?
  2. Do the other participants know the purpose of the discussion?
  3. If not do you intent letting them know this before the discussion takes place?
  4. Has all the necessary information been circulated well in advance of the time set for the discussion?
  5. Have you clearly identified the main topics for discussion and are the objectives clear?
  6. Have you prepared some clear and open questions that will stimulate discussion?
  7. Have you set out a timetable for the meeting?
  8. Have you considered how the seating plan and the nature of the room can be used to facilitate an open and productive discussion?
  9. Are all the necessary support materials (flipcharts, pens, paper, and reference materials) available and ready to go?

If the answer to ANY of the above is No then do not start the meeting until you have resolved it. As ever poor planning and preparation will only lead to failure!

Good Luck!

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