Time to meet

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - INSIGHT - By YONG AH YONG Co-or­di­nated by JANE F. RAGAVAN english@thes­tar.com.my

A meet­ing is a good time to ex­change ideas and come to some agree­ment.

MEET­INGS are held in al­most ev­ery com­pany and busi­ness firm to con­vey knowl­edge and in­for­ma­tion, dis­cuss cru­cial is­sues, in­ves­ti­gate projects and make de­ci­sions.

In busi­ness, var­i­ous prob­lems crop up from time to time, re­quir­ing im­me­di­ate res­o­lu­tion. Par­tic­i­pants have to ex­change opin­ions, an­a­lyse is­sues, pro­pose strate­gies and ar­rive at a com­mon stand.

Although there are ar­gu­ments and dis­agree­ments, the chair­per­son has to mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion and see that ev­ery­one reaches a con­sen­sus by the end of the ses­sion.

A meet­ing is part and par­cel of a com­pany’s life and is es­sen­tial to the suc­cess of the or­gan­i­sa­tion. Some work­ers may find meet­ings mo­not­o­nous and un­pro­duc­tive, but meet­ings go be­yond shar­ing in­for­ma­tion and view­points; they foster and strengthen mu­tual un­der­stand­ing and re­veal to team mem­bers the im­por­tance of tak­ing a united ap­proach to­wards tack­ling cor­po­rate prob­lems.

An agenda guides the meet­ing and pro­vides sub­ject mat­ters for dis­cus­sion. It lists the top­ics and sets the scope for brain­storm­ing. Although other top­ics are im­por­tant, they should not be dis­cussed in depth at the meet­ing if they are not in­cluded in the agenda. The agenda, which also in­di­cates the ob­jec­tives of the meet­ing, should be sent to all par­tic­i­pants well in ad­vance of the meet­ing.

If the chair­per­son finds that the ar­gu­ments and counter-ar­gu­ments are head­ing nowhere, he should post­pone dis­cus­sion of the topic to an­other meet­ing. It is then proper to pro­ceed to the next topic. If a cer­tain topic mer­its fur­ther dis­cus­sion, in­clude it on the com­ing agenda.

Here are some com­mon ex­pres­sions used in a meet­ing: Wel­com­ing and in­tro­duc­ing par­tic­i­pants Please join me in wel­com­ing Cik Zuhairah ... It’s a plea­sure to wel­come Mr Kr­ish­nan ... I’d like to in­tro­duce Mr Pri­tam ... I don’t think you’ve met Dr Hanafi ... Stat­ing the ob­jec­tives We’re here this af­ter­noon to dis­cuss ... Our aim is to look into the re­vised em­ploy­ment act ... I’ve called this meet­ing in or­der to ... Apol­o­gis­ing on be­half of an ab­sen­tee I’m afraid Mr Yong can’t be with us to­day. He has gone to Shang­hai ... I have re­ceived an apol­ogy for the ab­sence of Madam Vi­jaya, who is in Paris ne­go­ti­at­ing a busi­ness project ... Read­ing the min­utes of the last meet­ing First, let’s go over the min­utes of the last meet­ing, which was held on ... Please read the min­utes of our last meet­ing, which was held on ... Af­ter that could some­one kindly pro­pose the min­utes be passed, and could some­one else sec­ond it. Re­quest­ing a brief re­port John, can you tell us how our con­do­minium project is pro­gress­ing? Cik Az­izan, how is the sales pro­mo­tion cam­paign com­ing along? Sun­dram, when can our video­con­fer­enc­ing fa­cil­i­ties be ready? In­tro­duc­ing the agenda Please re­fer to the agenda to­day ... There are four items on the agenda. First, ... I sug­gest we look at item 3 first ... Ap­point­ing du­ties Ms Susila has agreed to take the min­utes ... Cik Fa­timah, would you mind tak­ing the min­utes? In­tro­duc­ing the first item Let’s start with item 1 ... Shall we start with item 1 ... The first item on the agenda is ... Clos­ing an item I think that cov­ers the first item ... Shall we leave that item? If no­body has any­thing else to add, let’s move on to item ... Next item Let’s move on to the next item ... The next item on the agenda is ... Sum­maris­ing Be­fore we ad­journ the meet­ing, let me sum­marise the main points ... To sum up, ... In brief, ... Shall I go over the main points? Fin­ish­ing up Good, we have cov­ered all the items ... Is there any other mat­ter? Propos­ing the next meet­ing Shall we fix the next meet­ing? So, the next meet­ing will be on Aug16 at 2pm, at the same place. What about the fol­low­ing Wed­nes­day? Thank­ing par­tic­i­pants for at­tend­ing Thank you all for at­tend­ing. Thanks for your par­tic­i­pa­tion. Clos­ing the meet­ing The meet­ing is ad­journed. We have come to the end of our meet­ing. n Yong Ah Yong is a lec­turer at UTAR (Perak). MANY words are used to de­scribe the ca­coph­ony of sounds which bom­bards us ev­ery day. Is it a squeak or a squelch of de­light? Do peo­ple avoid you when you squall or squawk? Us­ing the right word helps you to con­vey your feel­ings ef­fec­tively. Will the test be­low make you chuckle or whine? Fill in the blanks with the right an­swer. 1. She ___ in amuse­ment when she saw her son’s red hair. A. chuck­led B. whined C. purred D. hissed 2. The pa­tient was ___ in pain when he was brought in. A. bub­bling B. hoot­ing C. groan­ing D. sniff­ing 3. The cap­tain was ___ his or­ders loudly. A. purring B. hiss­ing C. hoot­ing D. bark­ing 4. With a ___ of bore­dom, he left the lec­ture hall quickly. A. groan B. grunt C. sigh D. hiss 5. It was very rude of the stu­dents to ___ in mock­ery at their ri­val team dur­ing their hockey match. A. whine B. groan C. hoot D. bark 6. The baby is ___ for milk as he is hun­gry. A. chuck­ling D. hiss­ing 7. I recog­nise her ___ of laugh­ter be­cause of her shrill voice. A. howl B. whine C. grunt D. snarl 8. I can hear the ___ of tyres when­ever I drive on my tiled drive­way. A. hiss B. screech C. whine D. squeal 9. A ___ fell over the neigh­bour­hood where the mur­der was com­mit­ted. A. hush B. sigh C. hiss D. purr 10. The witty speaker made his au­di­ence ___ with laugh­ter. A. groan B. grunt C. roar D. purr 11. From my apart­ment, I can hear the wind ___ ev­ery night. A. bub­bling B. howl­ing C. hiss­ing D. whin­ing 12. She ___ at me to not touch her new blender. A. whined B. groaned C. squawked D. screeched 13. With a ___ of anger, she stormed out of her hus­band’s of­fice.

B. howl­ing C. sigh­ing An­swers: 1.A 2.C 3.D 4.B 5.C 6.B 7.A 8.B 9.A 10.C 11.B 12.D 13.B 14.D 15.B 16.A 17.C 18.C 19.A 20.B 21.C 22.D 23.C 24.B 25.D 26.A 27.D

C. croak­ing A. sigh B. snort C. groan D. purr 14. The stu­dents ___ with ir­ri­ta­tion at the late­com­ers for the fire drill. A. snarled B. howled C. hooted D. grunted 15. The chil­dren ___ with de­light as they played on the beach. A. howled B. squealed C. squawked D. squelched 16. She stormed out of the dingy shop with a ___ of con­tempt. A. grunt B. screech C. squeal D. squall 17. Ann marched into the shop ___ about the fake ruby ring sold to her. A. sigh­ing B. chuck­ling C. squawk­ing D. squeak­ing 18. My sleep is in­ter­rupted by ___ stray cats ev­ery night. A. hiss­ing B. hoot­ing C. squalling D. squeal­ing 19. The door ___ open, and I saw him ly­ing on his bed. A. squeaked B. squalled C. squawked D. squelched 20. When­ever she ___, she is ir­re­sistible. A. barks B. purrs C. hisses D. hoots 21. He was ___ in a low voice be­cause of his sore throat. A. bel­low­ing B. bark­ing D. howl­ing 22. I heard the ___ of boots in the muddy field out­side. A. squeal­ing B. squeak­ing C. squalling D. squelch­ing 23. Her ___ of alarm awak­ened ev­ery­one in the dor­mi­tory. A. snort B. grunt C. squeal D. squelch 24. It is un­kind of her to ___ with scorn at the gift made by the chil­dren. A. bub­ble B. sniff C. squeal D. squeak 25. The boy’s ___ of fear was clearly heard from the base­ment. A. snort B. snort C. squall D. squeal 26. His dis­re­spect is shown by the way he ___ at his mother. A. snarls B. squalls C. squeaks D. squeals 27. He likes to ___ at his wife when­ever he is an­gry. A. groan B. moan C. purr D. bel­low

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