Chairing Skills Training

Overview

Course duration: 1 day

'More meetings!' Many people see meetings as a waste of time: No clear agenda or objectives, people who dominate, no real actions decided, overrunning time.........sound familiar?? The true costs of meetings to an organisation is usually far higher than staff realise in terms of monetary expense and the drain on time, which is usually a commodity in short supply.

This Chairing Skills training course is designed to help a chairperson organise the meeting well and lead it with confidence so that the best outcomes can be achieved in the shortest time.

An opportunity is provided for delegates to practice what they have learned in a safe and supportive environment, and this session, during which individuals can learn from their colleagues, is often reported as one of the most enjoyable and valuable parts of the course.

 

Subject Areas Covered

Common challenges. An introductory session looking at the various problems that delegates have experienced when attending meetings themselves, some common pitfalls and how they can be avoided.

Purpose and types of meeting. Being clear on the purpose of the meeting, what the desired outcomes are and how to structure the time allocated including who to invite as a result. Includes considering virtual meetings, the different ways of doing so and the possible benefits and drawbacks.

The Chair's Agenda. The importance of having a well-structured agenda, and allocating time constraints to each subject to be discussed. Circulating the agenda and any supporting documents well in advance of the meeting. Avoiding 'Any other Business' and encouraging attendees to request inclusion of topics on the agenda before the meeting takes place; this avoids meetings being 'hijacked' and encourages a timely end to proceedings.

Preparing for the meeting. Ensuring that the meeting room, layout, refreshments, lighting and temperature are all conducive to an effective meeting. The importance of discussing the agenda with the minute taker, how you will communicate with them during proceedings and being clear as to what is expected from them.

Assigning roles and responsibilities including establishing who will assist with time-keeping, and therefore be responsible for providing the chair with reminders if a topic is due to overrun.

Gaining agreement. Many meetings 'fail' because attendees views and understanding of how the meeting would be conducted were not aligned in the first instance, and there was a lack of common purpose.

This session provides some practical hints and tips as to how to agree some 'ground rules' at the start. This may include talking only through the chair, not interrupting others, respecting different views, remaining calm at all times, not being personal, confidentiality and how time over-runs will be managed by the chair.

Managing the meeting. Using the timed agenda to ensure the meeting and discussions remain structured. Considering the use of a 'Car Park' to put any untimely comments to one side and consider them later. Ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to be heard and promoting broad participation.

Summarising what has been discussed and agreed at strategic points of the meeting, and the effective use of comfort breaks. Understanding your personal leadership style and how others will react accordingly, and chairing the meeting in an assertive, fair and confident manner.

Meeting review. Working with the minute taker to ensure that the minutes are agreed and circulated promptly. Reviewing the effectiveness of the meeting and how successful you were as Chairperson, following up, monitoring and reviewing the agreed action points. 

 

Who should attend Chairing Skills Training?

Anyone who has to lead a meeting and wishes to do so in an organised and effective way with an authoritative manner.

 

If you would like more information about Chairing Skills Training, please contact us.

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For more information please call +44 (0) 7514 031 549

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