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The Glossary of Meeting Terms describes terminology and acronyms related to meetings and all the activities we do in those meetings. We've gathered this information from far and wide, so enjoy! And hey — if you have corrections or additions, please don't hesitate to contact us!

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PALPaR is a technique used by presenters to create an effective exchange in response to a proposal. The name of the technique is an acronym for:

Present Ask Listent Pause and Reply

To ensure the exchange will be effective, the presenter should prepare specific questions in advance and give the group an opportunity to discuss these questions together before they reply to the presenter. Then, during the Listen step, the presenter should request answers to...

A Pareto Analysis is a decision-making technique used to choose a limited number of actions to take that will result in a significant impact. The analysis uses the Pareto Principle (the 80/20 rule), which states for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

A meeting parking lot helps keep track of important items that may not be useful to discuss in the current meeting. As subjects come up that don't relate directly to the topic under discussion, they are added to the group's parking lot. The parking lot should be reviewed as part of closing the meeting. For each item on the parking lot, the leader checks whether the topic still needs to be discussed. If not, the item is removed. If the group feels it does need to be addressed, they either...

Parliamentary Procedure is the body of rules, ethics and customs governing meetings and other operations of clubs, organizations, legislative bodies and other deliberative assemblies. Roberts Rules of Order documents the most widely known parliamentary procedures.

Participation, in a meeting context, describes a cooperative effort to give input, make decisions, resolve issues, and assign actions together. Meeting facilitators are trained to encourage participation from everyone attending the meeting in order to foster each individual's commitment to the team's objectives and make the meeting more enjoyable. While facilitation and the appropriate meeting structure can increase participation, it is ultimately the individual attendee's responsibility to...

Perceived Meeting Quality (PMQ) is a way to measure an attendee’s feelings about a meeting. This term comes from a 2011 study that examined 18 different meeting design characteristics (such as using an agenda or starting and ending on time) to determine which ones had the biggest positive impact on how people felt about the meeting.

You can read the full study here:
Cohen, Melissa A.; Rogelberg, Steven G.; Allen, Joseph A.; and Luong, Alexandra, “Meeting Design Characteristics...

A PEST analysis is a sense-making technique used in strategic planning and situational analysis. Participants brainstorm and map out what's changing in their operating environment, then brainstorm the opportunities and threats they can now see may arise from these changes. PEST is an acronym for Political, Economic, Socio-Cultural, and Technological, the four types of change the team lists during this activity. There are several variations on this technique with similar acronyms.


A Planning Meeting is used to create a plan and secure commitment to taking the first steps.

You can find an introduction to Planning Meetings in Chapter 24 of our book, Where the Action Is. You may also want to visit the Learn More link, below, for resources to help you plan, run, and troubleshoot the specific meetings your team needs.

Examples Project Planning Campaign Planning (Marketing) Product...

A Plenary Session is a meeting at a conference in which all members of an organization are expected to attend. Such sessions may include a broad range of content, from keynotes to panel discussions.

PMI is a brainstorming technique for gathering feedback on an idea, concept, or when a team takes a retrospective look at a recently completed set of work. After introducing the idea, the group is asked to write individual notes about what they found positive (plus), negative (minus), and what they thought was neither good nor bad but interesting. Feedback is shared and charted in the three categories, then discussed by the group.

There are several related techniques that use...

+ / Δ

Plus-Delta provides a quick way to gather feedback at the end of an exercise or meeting. The questions are designed to encourage candid feedback by using “improvement” language rather than language that might be considered too negative for some participants. People share the pluses from the event—what went well and should be continued or taken further going forward—and the deltas, or what they would recommend changing for future meetings.

Here's how it works.

Set up...

Teams use the Polarity Map® technique in meetings to explore the benefits and problems with opposing factors, or poles, that play against each other when making a decision, especially when both alternatives have relatively equal validity. For example, teams may struggle with the need to innovate vs the need to manage risk, or a focus on fresh voices vs a reliance on experience. During the meeting, the facilitator draws a two-by-two grid and places the "poles" at the sides. In the top...

A Post Mortem, in the context of meetings, is a process usually conducted at the conclusion of a project to determine which parts of the project were successful or unsuccessful. Project post-mortems are intended to inform process improvements, mitigate future risks, and promote iterative best practices.

A Powerful Starting Question is a question or set of questions that help a group visualize their answers. The questions fill a blank slate in each person’s mind with a detailed picture. The powerful starting question is a great example of the appropriate use of framing to increase meeting productivity.

A Pre-Mortem is a meeting before a project starts in which a team imagines what the project would look like if it succeeded and if it failed. The team then works backward to create a plan to help prevent potential obstacles and increase the chances of success. This technique is recommended by behavioral psychologists and neuroscientists as an especially effective way of combatting cognitive bias and reducing project risk.

A presentation is when a person communicates an idea to others. The term can be adapted to various speaking situations, such as talking to a group, addressing a meeting or briefing a team.

Teams use Problem Solving Meetings to analyze a situation and its causes, assess what direction to take, then create an action plan to resolve the problem.

You can find an introduction to Problem Solving Meetings in Chapter 25 of our book, Where the Action Is. You may also want to visit the Learn More link, below, for resources to help you plan, run, and troubleshoot the specific meetings your team needs.

Examples Incident Response Strategic Issue Resolution...

A PDPC is used to understand the steps related to reaching a goal then find ways to increase the chances that the plan will work as desired. During the meeting, the team reviews the project plan, looking specifically at the tasks required along the way. For each, they discuss things that could go wrong and develop countermeasures to prevent those problems from occurring.

A Progress Check Meeting is used to confirm progress on a project or initiative and to maintain project momentum.

You can find an introduction to Progress Check Meetings in Chapter 18 of our book, Where the Action Is. You may also want to visit the Learn More link, below, for resources to help you plan, run, and troubleshoot the specific meetings your team needs.

Examples The Project Status Meeting The Client...

Progressive questioning is a technique for fully exploring a topic by asking a series of related questions. There are several progressive questioning techniques designed to fit different situations.

Using 5 Whys helps a group find the root cause of a problem. When conducting discovery for a new product or project, interviewers will ask questions that try to find the underlying values and needs behind a request. Educators, engineers, and psychiatrists use the Socratic questioning...

A proxy is a representative that has been designated to vote on someone else's behalf in a meeting. The representative may be a member of the same voting body or external.

Psychological safety is a term used to describe whether a person feels it is safe to take a personal risk around their team members.

Professor Amy Edmondson and researchers at Google both found that the presence or absence of psychological safety between team members was one of the key determinants of workplace performance, since this impacted whether the group felt they could raise issues or concerns, whether it was safe to make mistakes, and whether they could risk trying more bold...