Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Chairing skills

Prompted by the fact there are probably going to be lots of new Chairs of various local government (and other) committees appointed over the next few weeks, here is my checklist of what skills an effective chair needs to use - wisely and appropriately: 
  • Listening – really listening to all that is being expressed by the people present, verbally and non verbally
  • Designing – creating agendas that are focused around clear objectives and shaping the ‘process’ of the meeting so that these objectives are achieved elegantly
  • Negotiating – earnestly looking for ways to make sustainable decisions and build consensus around those decisions
  • Adapting – to the various people in the meeting and handling the diversity of different styles & preferences well so that all can make the contribution they wish, to achieving the objectives
  • Allowing – making sure there is the ‘space’ for innovation, reflection, theory and action to be blended into producing the best decisions
  • Arranging - ensuring the physical layout for the meeting is appropriate, comfortable, spacious and interactive
  • Reviewing – regarding the meeting as process which should be critically examined on a very regular basis to ensure the meeting style, agenda, timing (etc.) are all fit for purpose, and having the confidence & courage to change where required

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