There are 3 reasons why meetings are necessary –
1. Discuss i.e. we have an initial concept, idea or draft and we’d like to pick your brain. And your input is welcome. (Small groups are ideal. Large groups probably mean a facilitated workshop.)
2. Propose i.e. we have made a tentative decision after discussion/debate. We are letting you know so we have you bought in. Your input is welcome, for tweaks, in our proposal – massive ground shattering thinking or suggestions are not.
3. Announce i.e. this is our decision. Thanks for your agreement (i.e. shutting up and dealing with it.)
Running meeting is part art, part science. Understanding the purpose of the meeting is a big part of the science. Sticking to the purpose is a large part of a successful meeting.
It descends to chaos if the purpose is not clear i.e. when an announcement is made open for discussion, for example..