2019-2020 National Mentoring for Leadership Ambassador
13 Tips for a Successful Committee Meeting
Along with mentoring opportunities that present themselves during a business meeting, consider the benefits of mentoring during a special project or committee meeting. We want and need new ideas accompanied with strategies to grow our interests, not hinder them. Mentoring takes place in various venues and ways. We want members to gain valuable information and direction that will help provide the necessary insight and tools to volunteer for some type of leadership role in the future as well as educate new members.
Members can always get together, but it really takes more than that to accomplish a goal. Just because a committee is appointed and you schedule a time to get together, that doesn’t mean the meeting will be successful. The members need to feel engaged. They need to be prepared. When someone doesn’t show up, how does that affect the rest of the group? Is the chairperson prepared to provide direction? How can one keep this group excited and active?
- Select a meeting location including a seating/table arrangement that will provide some privacy and allow you to easily converse with each other.
- A pre-planned agenda – and sticking to it – will help facilitate a smoother run meeting. Let those committee members know ahead of time (if possible) what will be discussed. You want your members have a purpose to attend and participate.
- At the beginning of the meeting, clearly state what the purpose of the meeting is and assure everyone agrees upon that.
- The chairperson should facilitate the meeting and not dominate the conversation. The chairman should guide the conversation so collective decisions are made by the group, not just one person’s agenda.
- Create an atmosphere where all opinions are valued, but at the same time, the discussion needs to apply to the conversation at hand, not a different subject. Keep the discussion positive; this will assist with the meeting flow. The chairman should control the meeting but not solely determine the outcome.
- Be prepared with information applicable to the project. This will keep the project discussion on task (i.e. timing, place, budget, resources). This may be a time where you respect the past practices of the project but value preparing for the future.
- Use common sense! People prefer to be asked, rather than told. Rather than the chairperson answering a question, consider asking, “What do the rest of you think about this?”
- If the project at hand needs additional discussion, at the next meeting recap briefly the results from the previous meeting and move forward to address the new tasks.
- If the group looks like they are not ready to commit, be patient if the timing of the project allows it.
- Body and facial language speak volumes on a person’s reaction. Someone may not want to verbalize their opinion but you can read their thoughts based upon their expression. As the chairperson, pay attention and don’t be afraid to ask that individual what they think.
- Be kind to each other, value each other, and respect each other and the opinions of others.
- Recap the meeting and individual assignments at the end of the session to keep the interest and drive going.
- Don’t have meetings just to meet. Have meetings with an agenda and purpose.
Providing a clear direction, open dialogue, and along with positive atmosphere will bring value to those learning about the Auxiliary and their willingness to take on another type of leadership role.
Positive mentoring + engaged mentees = strong future leaders.