Meetings,whether formal or informal, primarily involve a lot of communicationwith the aim of coming up with solutions, informing, entertaining orfor other purposes. Of particular note, however, is the fact that thecommunication does not always have to be in form of words, rathereverything pertaining to the parties or stakeholders involved has tocommunicate a particular message. I attended a meeting organized bythe local sheriff in an effort to curb the rising cases of crime. Ofparticular note is the fact that this meeting was semi-formal. Forthe government officials, it was a formal meeting, while the oppositewas the case for the citizens. One of the government officials openedthe meeting with a word of prayer, while a secretary for the countyofficials was taking notes. However, the local sheriff dictated thecourse of the meeting including the topics that were to be discussed.Since every person was required to chip in and make a suggestionpertaining to the things that should be done so as to curb themenace, it was a bit difficult to determine any clear powerstructures. Nevertheless, it was evident that the sheriff and thecourt attorney were more or less in the same level.
A large proportion of conversations were held between the members ofthe public and the sheriff or court attorney and revolved around thesecurity matters. However, as much as the sheriff would have wantedthe members of the public to come up with solutions, the later onlycomplained about the runaway crime and the deficiencies of the lawenforcement agencies. Nevertheless, no one was excluded from theconversations although people were required to speak one at a time.In some cases, the conversations became too rigid and sad as peoplerecounted the varied instances when they were victims. Such sadnesswas only dissipated after the inculcation of humor. Humor, in thiscase, broke the monotony and allowed the people to think beyond thecurrent predicament.
Ithas always been well acknowledged that clothing and form of wearspeaks volumes about the type of meeting and stature of theparticipants (Steinberg47). This meeting was no different as there were distinctivevariations in the manner of dressing that the members of public tookand those of the sheriff and the court attorney. The sheriff was inhis official regalia, while the court attorney was in smart formalclothing. The members of public were mainly casual in their clothingalthough a sizable number of them had some formal clothing as well.This combination of formal and casual mode of dressing created theimpression that the meeting was semi-formal in nature.
Onthe same note, there was a difference in the manner of speech betweenthe varied stakeholders in the meeting. As much as the conversationsdid not incorporate a lot of jargon, there was a clear definition ofthe individuals who were in the know about how matters of securityare carried out. In this case, the public attorney provided the legalaspect pertaining to the course of action to be taken. As would beexpected, the members of public often came up with radical and rashstrategies that were not legally allowed. As much as they may havebeen effective and probably made the place safer, the public attorneystated the consequences of those actions and determined thestrategies that were legal and those that were not.
Thismeeting is best characterized by scientific management. Scientificmanagement underlines the management of a system in line with theprinciples of efficiency emanating from experiments in techniques ofproduction and work (Mortensen45). In this case the focus is on coming up with a single strategythat gets the job done or provides a solution to the problems athand. While the focus was not particularly on a single strategy, themeeting was primarily aimed at providing effective solutions to thesecurity problems in the county. Leadership, in the meeting, played anumber of roles. For instance, leadership offered coherence of thesubject matter and provided a clear course of action. The sheriff andpublic attorney were determining the topics that were to be discussedand ensured that the conversations stayed on course.
Asmuch as there were people of different classes, races, gender andsexual orientation in the meeting, the sheriff ensured that thediscussion was not limited by these divisions. Nevertheless,minorities especially blacks were mainly targeted and asked to comeup with solutions to the menace. This was especially after statisticsshowed that there was a connection between race and crime. As much asblacks make up only 7% of the citizenry, their numbers were thehighest in the correction facilities (GuffeyandDana56). This often created the impression that law enforcement agenciestargeted them, in which case the need for them to come up withsolutions was aimed at making them feel respected and as part of thesolution rather than as victims. On the same note, it was evidentthat individuals who seemed to be of high economic class had theiropinion sought out on more occasions than other people.
Guffey,Mary E, and Dana Loewy. Essentialsof Business Communication.Mason, OH: South-Western/Cengage Learning, 2010. Print.
Mortensen,C D. CommunicationTheory.New Brunswick, N.J: Transaction Publishers, 2008. Print
Steinberg,Sheila. AnIntroduction to Communication Studies.Cape Town, South Africa: Juta, 2007. Print.