Although I don’t always get it right, I have learned a lot about chairing discussions and meetings over time. My main learning, through bitter experience, is that people will sometimes want to focus on their pet themes, whatever the stated agenda.
Things have usually gone well, as long as I have made clear at the outset that the conversation is going to:
– create space for attendees to raise their views
– involve attendees listening respectfully to other views
– achieve an outcome in which some constructive conclusions emerge
As I say I have learned how (mostly) to get positive results in meetings by trial and error. It is a revelation that even veteran moderators like Andrew Neil can have a hard time of it.
Mr Neil led a discussion this morning – within the BBC programme, The Sunday Politics – about the Bilderberg Group meeting in London. His guests were US commentator Alex Jones and British journalist David Aaronovitch. See what you think about the effectiveness of the communication about the topic, after watching this segment
However did they get Mr Jones to leave the studio I wonder?