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					                        Running Effective Meetings

Make sure you know how the committee works (e.g. Staff Student Liaison
   What are the terms of reference for the committee? Where does it fit in the structure
   How often does it meet, is there an annual cycle?
   How do you get things on the agenda?
   How far in advance do papers go out
   What do people think the committee does?
   Who is on the committee?
   Who takes the minutes? How are they recorded?

Learn from the past:
   Locate past papers and minutes to get a feel for previous discussions
   Talk to previous representatives
   Talk to relevant Union staff
   Find out what the other committee members are like.

Be prepared:
   Check meeting dates and agenda deadlines
   Always confirm date, time and location
   If appropriate discuss key items with the Executive Committee
   Check with other committee members about anything you are unsure of
   Prepare notes for the items you wish to comment on.

   Sit where the Chair can see you
   Sit next to any allies you may have
   If in doubt ask for clarification from the Chair
   Ask questions
   Make notes to report back with later
   If you agree with something say so - avoid being totally negative!

After the meeting:
 Report back to those you represent
 Identify areas which require your action
 Check through minutes to ensure that discussions have been accurately recorded and
  if not contact the Secretary.

                                 Learner Development Unit
                        Techniques for effective Chairing

What is the role of the Chairperson?

The Chair MUST: ensure that the objectives of the meeting are achieved by covering the
agenda items, while promoting participation of the members and staying within the allotted

Prior to the meeting
     Ensure timely circulation of the agenda to allow preparation for the meeting
     Ensure that the agenda specifies the date, starting and ending times, venue and
        purpose of the meeting

During the meeting
    Start and end on time – avoid summarising the proceedings for latecomers
    Emphasise the objective(s)of the meeting
    Seek approval for the agenda –adding by consensus any "late but urgent " items
      under Any Other Business (AOB)
    Seek approval for the previous minutes – corrections being minuted where agreed
    Ensure that report-backs under "Matters Arising " are only whether a task is or is
      not completed, giving a new completion date if not –new developments should be
      discussed as new agenda points
    Introduce each agenda item with any background information (arguments for and
      against, and any previous discussions)
    Allow participation one by one with discussion through the chair -avoid one or two
      participants dominating any deliberations
    Encourage the quiet ones to contribute to the discussions
    Keep speakers to the topic under discussion – discourage jargon and keep control
      of strong non- verbal communication.
    Postpone to the next meeting items that are inadequately prepared and presented
      or that require lengthy discussion exceeding the available time – possibly even
      calling a special meeting for such issues
    Summarise discussions and emphasize the decisions, thereby keeping the process
      moving and guiding the minute-taker
    Decide on the point at which a decision must be taken and lead discussion on the
      options –but avoid forcing adoption of your own preferred option
    Reach agreement on action to be taken –what activity, by whom, where, by when
      and how – noting the type of feedback required
    If there is a need for further meetings, decide when (if not already scheduled)
    End on time

After the meeting
    Ensure that those not present at the meeting are aware of tasks assigned to them
    Check the draft minutes and improve where necessary
    Ensure minutes are distributed promptly (preferably within one week)

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