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A project management meeting

Listen to a project management meeting to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.

Transcripts

John: Thanks, everyone, for coming to this project meeting. I know we're all working cross-functionally on this project, but so far the key stakeholders are really pleased with how it's going. This project will really benefit our overall value proposition and the company as a whole.

Akiko: Thanks, John. It's an important project. It's good to be collaborating on this together.

Matteo: Yes, it's important, but we're all so busy with our regular jobs. It'll be difficult to fit things in.

John: It's OK, Matteo. We'll work it out. I know that you all have a lot on at the moment, combining this project with your regular jobs.

Barbara: So, what do we need to do, and by when?

John: Good questions, Barbara. We have a number of key deliverables to discuss so it's essential we're all in agreement about roles and responsibilities and also the timelines we're working to.

Akiko: Great.

Matteo: Yes, it's good to get this clear.

John: So, the first thing we need to do is design the customer survey questionnaire. In my experience, this is best done through an online survey tool.

Akiko: That sounds like a great idea. I'm glad you have experience with this.

John: Yeah, we've done something similar on previous projects.

Matteo: So will you do that, John?

John: I'd love to but I'm already tied up managing this project, and my line manager, Kate, has agreed that I should focus on the timelines, reporting and financial management. I'd like Akiko to lead on the questionnaire. You learned about this on your marketing and PR course, didn't you?

Akiko: Yeah, happy to take it on.

John: Thanks, Akiko. Next thing is we need the new designs finalised. Matteo, you said you could do this in a couple of weeks, right?

Matteo: Yeah, I know, but that was last month, and then nothing happened. I'm overloaded at the moment and my line manager won't be happy if I don't hit my targets. Sorry, but this project has to take lower priority.

John: Hmm. I see. I can understand the challenge you're facing. I've been in that situation before. So, what can we do to help you hit those targets and free up some time?

Matteo: That's a good question. If I could get a slight reduction in my targets, I could use the extra time that would create to finish the designs for this project.

John: OK. We might not be able to get your targets reduced, but I'll see what we can do.

Barbara: How about if I support Matteo there? I know his job well and I have some capacity at the moment. I can help him meet his targets so he can free up some time to finish the designs for this project.

Matteo: Could you, Barbara?

John: Hmm. I'm not sure if it's fair to ask Barbara to be supporting Matteo in his regular job so he can work on this project.

Barbara: It's up to you, but I'm happy to support Matteo with his regular work, just for a couple of weeks so he can create the designs. He's the only one with the expertise.

John: Yeah, you're right. OK, thanks a lot, Barbara. I appreciate it. Matteo, would that work for you?  

Matteo: Yes, that would work. Thanks. OK, you've made it easy for me to say yes.

John: OK, then that's settled. Thanks, both. I really appreciate your help in this. So, can you get them done by the end of the month?

Matteo: Yes, that should be no problem.

Discussion

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Language level

Advanced: C1

Comments

Yes, I have many tips to make a effective meeting. People should always be discipline.
A good leader always motivate team members and help to do things. If you have under a good leadership then your efficiency and confidence is enhance.
Second thing to be held a effective meeting team members should share their ideas and manager should appreciate member's effort to increase company values. Leader should be polite.

We can declare a meeting is effective only if we have agenda, time-borders and right people.
Needless to say that without agenda the meeting will transform into chatter or even worse so that you have to plan your meeting carefully. Furthermore, if we don't have time-borders the meeting will lasts forever and we won't have the result. Finally, since the meeting is all about people and agreements between them, having right colleagues on it is a key.

I think that you have to talk about only to a few specifics issues and try to don’t start from zero. It’s better If you ask people for devising solutions before the meeting, then you won’t waste your time.

Oh, that's the question right for me because I hate ineffective meetings ))
First of all, you need to clear up who do you have to invite. It's important to invite only those, who really works at this particular project. Otherwise, needless people will be bored and they will distract you from the topic.
It's good to send useful information to all the attendees before the meeting so they can prepare and don't waste time during the gathering.
Another good point - having someone responsible for timing. Every meeting must be as brief as possible. Someone has to control discussions and prevent wasting of time for arguing and bla-bla-talks.

Meetings are necessary to boost productivity and efficiency . In fact, they are an inevitable part of everyday working life.They can either be productive or collaborative.
In my opinion, the employees have to be informed by the meeting's purpose before to do it.They'll have enough time to think about it in order to discuss with the manager and to give their opinions .The attendees have to be involved in the meeting .They aren't only part of it but they're enriching the meeting .A good manger who is encouraging employees to participate in the meeting discussion.The meeting's conclusion should be written in collaboration with all the participants .

I don't think that it will be necessary all that things that I'd have read on some comments. keep it easy and clearly.

1. Listen if one doesn't have something to say.
2. Make notes
3. Offer help.
4. Appreciate.

Regarding to my experience one of the important tips is to have trained and strict mentor.
Me and my colleagues visited some trainings about effectiveness and effective communication. Everybody knew rules and order of right meeting. But rules don't work if there is no strict facilitator. Bad facilitator can let to speak to members if his opinion is similar and stop the speech if his thoughts about subject are different.
As I think the best rules about conferences and decision's development at the meetings are defined in the book of Ray Dalio "Principles". I can't recommend it enough.

From my expirience, in my job as teacher, we all the teacher in our knowledge area, we have a team; and at the end of each period we attend a meeting programmed by the leader of our team. Also, some days before our leader sends us the schedule and so, we always know the topics for the meeting. We all say our point of view, do the assignments and at the end, the leader assigns tasks to do outside the session

When attempting to hold successful meetings, it is good to have a clear objective and decide whether the objective merits holding a meeting. Based on said objective, then it is convenient to decide what kind of a meeting will be held because the kind of meeting sets the structure of the agenda, i.e., if it is a decision-making meeting, the structure is one, but if it is a brainstorming meeting the structure is a different one. Also, it is important to determine who shall attend the meeting, since, to be efficient, it is essential that all participants be informed of the reason they have been invited to attend.
Depending on the kind of meeting, it will be important to havea facilitator -a person who will take care of the preparation, the logistics, and who will harness discussions in an objective and focused manner. A good facilitator will appoint a note-taker and a time-keeper, they will also insure a balanced participation from all attendees and help summarize key points, important conclusions and next steps. As far as participants is concerned, a good participant must always come prepared, show up on time, having done the pre-tasks -if any, and be ready to participate fully, always coming from a spirit of contribution and respect for the opinions of others, and willing to stick to the objectives set out for the meeting.
A meeting held like this is more bound to have a clear deliverable and next steps, leaving mostly everyone satisfied.
These would be the tips I would offer.

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