Gather and distribute information. Make decisions. Brainstorm. Provide training. Network/socialize.
Meetings… …are unorganized. …are too long. “We have too many of them.” …conflict with other events. “I’m too busy.” …are unproductive.
No real purpose or agenda for the meeting. No one knows about the meeting. Organizers are not prepared. The members are not engaged – checking phones, sidebar conversations. Conflict between members.
Determine the purpose of the meeting. Create an agenda and distribute it beforehand. Welcome your attendees as they arrive. Have materials ready. Start on time.
Limit the number of items. Allow for enough time to discuss each item. Begin with a noncontroversial item to create a positive environment. More important = beginning of the meeting. Move committee reports to the end or have a consent agenda*. *Routine items that can be grouped together and passed in one motion.
Begin on time. Brief introductions (if members don’t already know each other) Stick to the agenda – stay on task. Take breaks but return on time. Don’t allow sidebar discussions or hidden agendas. Make sure the chair summarizes the discussion.
“I move that…” Needs a second – without one, the motion dies. Chair repeats the motion. “Any discussion?” After discussion, call for the vote – repeat the motion. Motion either passes or does not pass. Only one motion on the floor at a time.
Do NOT need to include everything that was said and who said it. Do NOT need to include who made a motion and who seconded. DO need to include the motion. DO include the outcome of the motion. For close/controversial votes, include the numbers and names if desired.
Create ground rules for all to follow. Remind members of why they are there. Review the purpose, mission and vision of the organization. Control your emotions – don’t get personal. Call for a break and talk to people individually. Resolve conflict before the end of the meeting.
Finish the meeting on time*. Review assignments/deadlines. Set a date/time for next meeting. Thank you for attending and participating. Take a deep breath. Well done! *Cannot stress this enough.