Considerations on the meeting conditions
Many meetings fail or become a breeding ground for conflict because the necessary clarifications have not been communicated in advance.
Preconceptions about role, purpose and intentions remain hidden and lead to misunderstandings for others.
What role am I acting in? What hat do I have on? The same statement can have totally different effects, depending on whether I am acting as a person, as a man or woman, as a colleague, boss or employee, as a friend. Before I broadcast, the other person needs to know which channel I am on (“taking something the wrong way”).
When new relationships are defined, the other person is not asked whether he or she also wants to enter this relationship field! This includes, for example, encroachment into non-permitted closeness: criticism and compliments, personal matters, jokes and sarcasm. Or domination: “Bring me the coffee.” (The following applies for both forms: when one enters someone’s house, one should…)
It may be important to explain the reason and background (What has happened up to now…; "I am anxious because the topic is awkward",
"I want to address a point today which I have been putting off for a long time.”)
Intention, topic, goal
It is just as important to clarify the reason for the meeting, the intention and the goal. “The reason behind this meeting is …”, “I want to clarify the following point…”, “Today’s topic is…”
Clarifying these points helps to avoid misunderstandings and to return to the thread of the discussion if others have moved outside the framework (by changing the topic or even their role).
Sometimes there are differing opinions regarding the time frame. The more people are involved in a meeting, the more important advance clarification can be.
In routine meetings, everyone involved knows the framework, so that work can start on the content straight away. The newer the situation is for one or more of those involved, the more necessary it becomes to clarify the framework. If, however, the framework (role, intention, task, time…) is not accepted by the other side, the meeting is destined to fail.