Politics How To Meetings

The Politics How To Meetings section is one of the most important learning areas for all political careers. Regardless of whether one follows the career path of politician, public servant, political adviser or is involved in media, success will be largely dependent on success in meetings. A very significant factor in success within a meeting is understanding how meetings are conducted. The purpose of Politics How To Meetings section is to give some advice on how to be more successful in meetings.


One of the most valuable keys to success in meetings is preparation. Regardless of the nature of a meeting, being prepared and having given consideration to both the stated and unstated business of a meeting is critical for your success. In most cases, when you decided to attend a meeting, usually as a result of invite, you have some level of understanding of the purpose of the meeting. Alternatively, you may be quite clear about YOUR purpose at the meeting. For example, you may be attending a meeting of an organization to which you may wish to apply for membership. In that case, you probably know what the purpose of the meeting is (eg to conduct the monthly business of the organization) and you know what your purpose is (eg to learn more about the organization so as to better decide whether to join, or to actually apply for membership). Understanding the importance of clarity of purpose is a key outcome of the Politics How To Meetings section.


In many cases, you will be invited to meetings where the purpose of the meeting is not clear. In these cases, it is important to ASK. If you attend a meeting without knowing, you place yourself at risk. It is also important to try to understand why you have been invited and what is expected of you at the meeting. Again, if this is not clear, ASK. Even if both of these matters have been made clear to you, try to determine if there is some other reason why you are invited and which might be withheld from you. Examples would be that you are expected to perform certain actions - such as to support your manager. If this is likely, try to determine whether you would be comfortable to carryout the actions likely to be requested of you. If so, proceed. If you would not be comfortable, seek to discuss the matter prior to the meeting or try to avoid the meeting. Meetings place considerable pressure on an individual and it is important that you consider your position carefully so as to avoid taking actions which you may later regret.

Knowledge of Procedure

In addition to understanding the purposes of meetings and what may be requested of you, the other key factor in meeting success is knowing meeting procedure. Meeting procedure alone justifies the The Politics How To Meetings section. Even though meeting procedure varies from meeting to meeting and can be anything from very informal to very formal, those who can use formal meeting procedure in detail will always be at a great advantage over those who can not. Formal meeting procedure is almost always based on either the Parliamentary rules or generally accepted guides for meetings - but it can be laid down in legislation in some cases. When Parliamentary rules are used, the authoritative guide is normally "Robert's Rules of Order" - of which there is a Newly Revised paperback version available. When meeting guides are used, the authoritative guide is N E Renton's "Guide for Meetings and Organizations" and in 2009, the current version is the eighth edition. If the Politics How To Meetings section convinces you to learn about meeting procedures, your time here will be very well spent.

The key concepts to be learned about meeting procedures from either of those references is to know the basic rules around how a meeting is conducted, what is the procedure for raising a matter for debate and how would one get a decision from the meeting. In more detail, this means the rules around a valid motion. To wisely use meeting procedure requires a thorough study of Robert's Rules and Renton's guide. A good indicator of understanding meeting procedure is whether you are fully aware of the procedure debate a point of order and to move a motion of dissent from the Chair's ruling. {As an aside, on two occasions, I have done this after moving that an Agenda not be adopted. In both cases, it was very effective for the purpose for which I used it - namely to quickly raise my profile.}

In order to understand procedures and to be most effective in meetings, it is also imperative that you have a good understanding of the law relating to the particular organization in which you are operating. For the vast majority of organizations, this will be some form of Constitution. In almost all cases, there will be a current written version of this document. Constitutions generally are written in quite legalistic terms - but the level at which they need to be understood by "non-legal types", they are normally quite straight forward. For any organization you plan to join, seek a copy of the Constitution.


The Politics How-To Meetings section in summary:Study and use Robert's Rules or Renton's Guide - especially how to >make >move >respond to ....motions and ....points of order.

After doing some reading about the Politics How To Meetings section, and getting some with meeting procedure and Constitutions, it is time to look at the broader matter of


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