Transforming a Meeting from Confrontation to Cooperation

by Desmond M. Connor, Consulting Sociologist; D.M. Connor Development Services, Ltd., Oakville, Canada,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1977, Vol. 47, Issue 2, Pg. 57-59

Document Type: Feature article


Public meetings are frequently prescribed as part of major public works projects; unfortunately, they often become scenes of massive confrontation, rather than cooperation. What can be done to make public meetings more constructive? A consulting sociologist makes valuable suggestions based on an actual case history. Of importance, he stresses the following points: (a)Establishing goals for the meeting; (b)determine what kinds of people are expected to attend and what issues are to be raised; (c)assess the physical location of the meeting and plan a layout that will minimze non-verbal statements of confrontation; and (d)develop an agenda.

Subject Headings: Infrastructure | Case studies | Team building | Consulting services | Social factors

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