Lauded for its accessible format and humorous writing style, Effective Meetings: Improving Group Decision Making, offers practical strategies for running effective meetings by highlighting the processes involved in decision making and the ways individuals contribute to making better quality decisions as a group.

The Third Edition of this brief text begins with guidelines for effective decision making, then covers topics that include member recruitment, meeting preparation, agenda building, and the positions and roles required for effective meeting outcomes. Subsequent chapters deal with electronic meeting formats, the chair and participants, and the various types of meeting groups such as boards, advisory groups, and staff groups.

Author John E. Tropman teaches at the University of Michigan in the School of Social Work, the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, and the Executive Education Programs. Dr. Tropman also works with for-profit, nonprofit, and government entities in a consultative capacity.

The Staff Group

The staff group

Sheila and Brenda walked out of the family agency staff meeting in a downcast mood.

“I don't know why we have to spend this time every week,” said Sheila.

“I don't either,” said Brenda. “Nothing ever seems to happen. We complain, we bitch, we moan, the executive gets mad, and we never seem to accomplish anything.”

“Didn't Bill actually suggest that we meet every other week at the very least?”

“Yes, that's true,” replied Brenda, “but then others said that it was ‘good to get together.’”

“I don't think it's ‘good to get together.’” Sheila said. “I think it's just a terrible waste of time. If you add up the cost of everybody sitting around there—thirteen of us at $50 an hour—that's a lot of ...

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