Committee Meetings: Useful?

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The great Bobwhite Blather has some hints on making sure that Unit Committee meetings are held and effective.

Here are a few key comments:

So how do you slog through the routine of a monthly committee meeting without causing your committee members to “check out” and put you on mute?

With people saying they’d prefer almost anything to sitting through a boring meeting – eight percent reportedly would rather have a root canal than endure a litany of boring status updates – it’s vitally important to engage your participants so they can share the essence of their knowledge. And being a volunteer organization, we can’t compel them to attend, like your employer can, so we need to make them want to attend.

  • Most of your meeting should involve tasks in which participants are dependent on each other to advance the outcome. If only one or two people are involved, the rest of the attendees will either be sitting there silently watching the clock or contributing in ways that may not be helpful.
  • If your meeting has no purpose or agenda, you’re doomed to waste your participants’ time. They don’t know what to expect…and you don’t know where you are going next – or even why you’re there.
  • Expect a solution to arise out of the discussion. Don’t make a habit of putting off topics until the next meeting. Make it a priority to resolve issues and make assignments. The old adage applies: Nothing gets done in meetings – the action takes place when everyone leaves the table.
  • Everyone attending should have a stake. Anyone who leaves without something to do probably shouldn’t have attended in the first place.

Frank goes on to explain when emails would be more effective. It is worth a quick read.