The Chairperson of a board or committee is an advantageous opportunity to make a difference. Already I expose my predilection to advancing a cause as opposed to maintenance. If that’s your hope, make note of nine suggestions that come from a lifetime of experience in these matters on a micro and macro scale.
- Mind the clock – Even with the most comprehensive and difficult agenda items, a good Chair can keep the discussion and determination to a reasonable limit. Remember, if the meeting is boring, it’s probably up to you.
- Maintain respect – This is the place to affirm your team and to engender constructive participation. You may have just been insulted or offended by a suggestion. You can use the moment to cast positive leadership and deal with insubordination in private. Respect also carries to the people or projects under discussion. Remain above the fray.
- Discipline Staff Work – This is to suggest that the meeting should not become entangled with staff work. Unless the group is formed to do staff work, you come to the board table with details and research in order. Allowing extended computation and research in the meeting wastes everyone’s time. If you hold firm, people will get the right idea.
So enjoy your role as Chairperson. B/T/W, if you’re not the Chair, you may be someday. Pay attention here.