Making best use of meetings
Meetings are a part of every stage of collective bargaining from meetings with the people you represent, meetings of the bargaining team during negotiations, and report-back meetings when the deal is done.
Effective meeting management shows respect for participants and acknowledges the value of people’s time. Importantly, good meetings support well-considered decision-making and steady progress in the bargaining process.
In negotiations each party will take notes but it is equally important in meetings outside of negotiations that good records are kept of progress.
What could I do for meetings outside the negotiation?
- Have an agenda – it is a good tool for keeping the meeting on track
- Cover what needs to be discussed and what needs to be done about it
- Provide information for participants to ensure they can make the necessary decisions
- Manage the meeting through a Chair
- Find ways to ensure everyone has a say
- Keep a record – simple formats work best
- Always return to clarify decisions before the end of the meeting
- create an agenda, including items from participants
- set ground rules and ensure they are upheld
- set timeframe for discussion and stick to it if possible
- agree on a decision-making process (consensus/majority vote)
- ensure you stick to the processes agreed
- decide a format for notes e.g. create headings: issue/discussion/agreement/timeframe/person responsible
- put a name, date and time on each notes page
- work with the Chair to ensure accurate recording
- check back with participants for clarity as you go
- disseminate minutes (if appropriate)
On the right hand side you will find links to useful information and resources to assist the running of effective meetings with your team during the bargaining process.