The conference leader has the responsibility for guiding the conferees throughout the discussion until the point that he is able to crystallize all opinions toward a rational final decision. His primary control of the entire process is his agenda, which provides the framework for discussion. This must be carefully thought out, and copies must be circulated in advance of the meeting so that participants have the opportunity to prepare themselves for the discussion. It should limit the scope of the discussion and allow for the orderly development of thought to successive phases of the topic under discussion, whitout giving the appearance of excessive rigidity.
Two years ago I moved to a new neighbourhood. There seem to be very few people in this area who are without telephones, so I expected to get a new phone quickly. I applied for one as soon as I moved into my new house. "We aren't supplying many new phones in your area," an engineer told me. "A lot of people want new phones at the moment and the company is employing fewer engineers than last year so as to save money. A new phone won't cost you mush money, but it will take a little time. We can't do anything for you before December." You nees a lot of patience if you're waiting for a new phone and you need a few friends whose phones you can use as well. Fortunately, I had both. December came and went, but there was no sign of a phone. I went to the company's local to protest. "They told me I'd have a phone by December," I protested. "Which year?" the assistant asked.