In successful meetings, people achieve what they set out to do or make progress towards an agreed goal. Even when a participant did not get exactly what they expected, a meeting can be successful if:
the agreed purpose is achieved or progress is made towards achieving it
participants are beginning to work as a team
participants show respect for each other's ideas and opinions
communication channels have been kept open.
If a participant is not happy with the outcome of a meeting, it is a good idea to call another meeting to try to resolve the issue. It might help to invite additional people with relevant expertise or authority. For example, if the first meeting was held with the teacher, the school principal could be invited to attend the second meeting to assist in resolving the issue. If a person remains unhappy with the outcome and it cannot be resolved at the school level, they may consider approaching another authority to make a formal complaint.
A successful meeting: In practice
A checklist of questions for the group after a meeting about reasonable adjustments could include the following:
Did everyone have a chance to state their opinion?
Did everyone understand the issue being discussed?
Was all the relevant information available to guide decision-making?
Did everyone actively explore ideas for solutions and look at all the options?
Did everyone understand what it means to enable the student to participate on the same basis as other students?
Did everyone agree on how the decisions will be monitored?
Was there an agreed process for reporting back to the group so that everyone knows how things are going?
Did everyone leave knowing what they had to do before the next meeting?
Tips for reaching agreement
Look for solutions, not someone to blame.
Listen to understand the problem, not to judge the speaker.
Focus on the idea, not who suggested it.
Think about different ways to meet the student’s needs.
Aim to improve the situation, not to control it.
Use debate and discussion, not argument and criticism.
Consider what’s best for the student, not whether your idea is chosen.
Prepare to compromise, not look for the perfect solution.
Accept that several meetings may be needed before agreement is reached.