Estudiar y Aprender Inglés

Meetings - Cloze

Article and voice by Christopher Wright
Activity by Steven Starry - (Profesor en Alcorcón)

Choose the correct missing words from the list, then press "Check" to check your answers. You can also click on "[?]" for a hint. Note that you will lose points if you ask for hints or clues!
Rellena los espacios en blanco seleccionando la palabra o frase más adecuada del desplegable de cada casilla. Haz click en "Check" para comprobar tus aciertos. Para obtener ayuda también puedes clickear en el botón "[?]" y te dará una pista. Perderás puntos con las pistas.

   achieve      afterwards      balance      commitment      complained      deep      issues      lack      minutes      not the best way      rambling      stretched   
Technology was supposed to be the answer to the work-life and whisper it, decrease the number of meetings! I just didn’t believe the techies.

Well surprise surprise, recent research has said that most managers spend at least 60% of their time in meetings in comparison to 45% in the 1970´s.
Managers that at least 50% of their time spent in meetings was a complete waste of time.

So what can be done? Well it’s not rocket science, here are tips I compiled from the experts:

Do we need to meet?
"What a stupid question", you say "of course we need to meet". Well dig and honestly ask yourself and colleagues, "Do we really need to meet?"
Maybe you can solve issues through other communication tools, talking over a coffee or by using technology such as instant messenger, blogs, emails, forums.
If you do have a meeting, be clear about what you want to either as the meeting leader or as an attendee.

Prepare well
Surprise surprise, those people who prepare answers to key issues before going into a meeting, achieve their goals quickly and painlessly.
Only invite those who are essential and relevant to the meeting . When giving invitees background information, keep it brief, to the point and relevant. Make sure you book the meeting room and check it has everything you need, like a projector and teleconference facilities etc.

Leading a meeting
Some cultures (e.g. North Americans and Northern Europeans) use meeting agendas to prevent and irrelevancy. Other cultures hate being constrained by such a rigid structure and prefer to have more free flowing meetings. Both methods have their merits, what is important to both, is the meeting leader or chair. This person needs to be respected by all attending, have a strong personality to control the meeting covering all major points/issues and to promote an inclusive atmosphere. In the summary the meeting leader should gain to action points by meeting attendees.

Do what you say
We’ve all been to meetings, where attendees agreed to action points and then at the next meeting turned up and gave excuses. Trust is broken, motivation plummets and nobody takes the meetings seriously. So think before you agree to an action point and if you’re over , just say no and explain why. Shoddy work helps nobody.

Meeting Minutes
It’s the worst job in the meeting, taking meeting minutes, but someone has to keep a record of what was said by everybody. Why why why?
Well those meeting minutes provide clues if you need to meet again and if so what should be included and not included. Also it makes sure that people do what they say and when! So keep meeting accurate, brief, action-orientated and get all attendees to agree to what they said.

We’ve all been in international meetings where we wanted to speak but we couldn’t and sat in silence, tongue-tied unsure of the correct English expression or phrase to use. Before you go to meetings, remember past occasions where you’ve communicated successfully in English and focus on how great you felt . Take a deep breath and quickly relive that feeling before you speak during the meeting. Secondly use pauses and eye contact, say something like "We should consider........., PAUSE (2 seconds), because............". Pauses focus attention on what you have to say, people assume its important, while also giving you time to think.

Respect people
Well I’m not suggesting we’re rude people or we manners. However in the heat of the moment, we often forget our manners, interrupting and shouting at people we don’t agree with. Often we become emotional and make issues personal and make personal comments instead of keeping things objective. This maybe acceptable in some cultures but others find it confrontational and to facilitate cooperation. So agree meeting ground rules before starting a meeting and don’t be afraid to remind people of these during the meeting!