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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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When people mention "the Elephant in the Room", they're referring to something they assume everyone knows, but no one wants to talk about because it's awkward, taboo, or likely to incite conflict. The phrase originated from a Russian fable written by Ivan Krylov in 1814.

This phrase is unrelated to the tale of the Blind Men and the Elephant, which is...

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Emotional Seismograph

In a meeting context, engagement describes the attention level of attendees and how much they participate in the meeting's activities. A participant's engagement is easiest to see when they are speaking or actively working in a group activity. People listening attentively may also be highly engaged.

Often it is easier to detect when a participant is disengaged. Signs of disengagement include multitasking, interrupting or holding side conversations, reading reports or email during the...

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Environment scanning is a sense-making exercise teams use to uncover the outside trends that they should consider during the strategic planning process. Teams research and brainstorm the trends they see in their political environment, economic climate, community, and industry, then discuss how these changes in their operating environment create new risks and opportunities. Environmental scans can be completed in one or more meetings.

An executive session is a private meeting within an otherwise open meeting, such as an organizational board meeting. Boards may hold an executive session involving only board members to discuss sensitive or private information. The minutes for an executive session are taken separately, if at all, and the discussion is considered confidential. In public organizations, the business that can be legally discussed in an executive session may be subject to open meeting laws governing public access...

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