Meeting Evaluation Activities Good managers realize how important effective meeting leadership and participation are to the overall effectiveness of their companies. Consequently, they realize the need to train their important work teams to build appreciation of the need for occasional evaluations as part of their weekly meeting activities.
Taking a few minutes to familiarize participants and observers with some of these forms, which follow the general pattern of the "simple participation code."
Critics simply list each participant's name and keep track of the comments each individual makes. A participant's name followed by four marks with a slash indicates five contributions. This simple method is used to assess comparable participation among participants as a rough indication of the domination of total task time and an even cruder indicator of probable influence of each individual.
The total number of contributions also provides some indication of the activity and intensity of the group at work. For example, in a one-hour simulated business discussion, total participant contributions may range from 80 to as many as 250 or 300 contributions.
The lesser number may indicate that the group is slow, apathetic, confused, uninvolved or, conversely, that there have been several long contributions typical of a seriously committed, reflective group. This is easily determined by noting (or timing) the number of lengthy contributions and by watching the talk-to-pause ratio. The apathetic group always has many lengthy periods of silence.
The high number of contributions can signal an intensely interested and dynamic group, but can also indicate that it is too competitive and frenetic for good progress on the topic.
Similarly, a structure-functions form focuses primarily upon discussion regulation, information processing, and critical thinking, with some space provided for noting harmonious and disruptive comments. Names of participants are listed at the top. Each statement from each participant is noted by a simple check placed in the proper category box. The form allows one to check each individual's profile to see if it is broadly distributed (as recommended) or related to one type of role.
It also indicates much about where the group spends most of its time by giving group totals on each area or phase of the discussion.