Aims and Objectives Identify what some of the essential skills are to be effective in a meeting Understand the role and importance of the chair person and the minute taker Understand the key tasks and challenges when attending meetings Identify potential strategies and solutions to common problems arising in meetings Enable participants to become more efficient and confident in their role as Chair/Minute Taker/attendee
What meetings might you attend? Most Reps will attend an average of 3 University meetings a year, these are: Student Staff Consultative Committee (commonly referred to as SSCCs) How often? 3 x a Year Who attends? All Course Reps
What meetings might you attend? Faculty Forum How often? 3 x a Year Who attends? Chairs of SSCC’s This is an informal meeting between the SSCC chairs and one senior staff member known as the Associated Dean for Students (ADS).
What meetings might you attend? Faculty Board How often? 3 x a Year Who attends? A selection of SSCC chairs nominated at Faculty Forum. Looks at the key issues and areas of best practice from across your Faculty.
What meetings might you attend? Board of Studies How often? 2 x a Year Who attends? Nominated SSCC Chairs This meeting looks more at the Quality Assurance side of your course.
What meetings might you attend? Course Rep Council How often? 2 x a Year Who attends? Any Rep with welfare issues Twice a year your Faculty Rep will lead Course Rep Council.
Who’s Who? The Chair – within all University and Union meetings there will be a Chair who facilitates the session The Minute Taker – within all meetings there will be someone responsible for taking minutes; capturing key information
Exercise Work in small groups to discuss and decide on what you believe the role and tasks of the Chair or Minute Taker might be…
Role of the Chair The role of the Chair is to ensure all participants in a meeting can contribute to a structured discussion which leads to a clear decision at the end of the meeting.
Shout Out! What do you think some of the skills are that a Chair would need to make sure this happens?
A Good Chair Helps the meeting to run smoothly and efficiently. They will make sure that: all the business is discussed everyone’s views are heard clear decisions are reached order is kept the meeting starts and finishes on time.
Will be thinking about the meeting overall, not just the topic under discussion Always aims to draw a balance between hearing everyone’s views and getting through the business. Never uses their position as chair as an opportunity to put forward their views to the exclusion of others, or to dominate the meeting.
Role of the Minute Taker A minute taker is the attendee at meeting whose role it is to record the minutes of the meeting. Their job is to either solely take notes, or they may be an active participant in the meeting who has taken on the role for that one specific meeting.
A Good Minute Taker Ensures the key elements of the meeting are noted and accurately recorded They will make sure that: They record what is happening in the meeting Records are done in a structured way They have noted who is and isn’t in attendance They will be confident in asking others for clarification if needed The minutes are circulated and accuracy is checked
You don’t need to write down absolutely everything word for word! Identify key points… Keep emotion out of the minutes e.g don’t say The Treasurer angrily said… use The Treasurer was in disagreement because… If you feel it inappropriate to ask for clarification, note down who you need to speak to and catch up with them at the end Clearly reflect the order of discussion even if it does not match the agenda Take a laptop and/or notepad
Key Tasks: Before the meeting… ChairMinute taker Liaise with minute taker to address any issues Liaise with the Chair over the agenda The agenda sets out things you want to discuss Set out a template in advance – usually provided by the School/Department Map out the running order of the meeting with the agenda Find out who is and isn’t attending Read the minutes of the last meeting – are there any matters arising?
Key Tasks: At the start of the meeting… ChairMinute taker Welcome everyone and introductions Note down the names of all in attendance Ensure people know what the meeting is about Create a sign-in sheet to help you Set meeting roles/code of conduct Ensure you have a copy of the agenda and minutes of the last meeting for yourself
Exercise In order to make sure meetings run smoothly it’s important to make sure that all attendees agree to follow the same rules. In groups, using the flipchart, outline a code of conduct for a meeting…
Examples of meeting rules Outline the rules at the beginning Ask people to speak ‘through the chair’ Don’t interrupt other people Stick to the item on the agenda Don’t talk amongst yourselves Respect other people’s views Keep contributions short and to the point Start and finish the meeting on time
Key Tasks: In the meeting… ChairMinute taker Getting everyone through the business on time Address people in your notes by position rather than by name (e.g. the Level 4 Course Rep said…) Involve everyoneDon’t panic! Dealing with difficult peopleWrite whatever works for you at the time Try not to refer to people by their name of gender. Use positions where possible If you need clarification on any points make a note of the person’s name you need to contact afterwards
Key Tasks: At the end of the meeting… Chair Summarise decisions taken and action points to be followed up – who is responsible and by when? Agree a date for the next meeting Agree any special items that will need to be put on the agenda of the next meeting Ensure that the minutes are written up, are checked by the Chair and sent out to attendees in good time Minute taker Summarise decisions and action points – note who is responsible and deadlines Ensure that the minutes are written up promptly Ensure minutes are checked by the Chair and circulated to be checked and approved
Most of you will probably have your Student Staff Consultative Committees coming up… Here’s some examples of what NOT to do and some examples of what to do in your meetings. Good Meeting Practice
Templates Here are some examples of what an agenda and minutes might look like for an SSCC meeting