By Cindy Vallance @cdvallance
Even if you’re not ‘in the Chair,’ all participants still have responsibilities when it comes to ensuring that all receive the full benefit from effective meetings.
Prior to the Meeting
Submit agenda items if and when asked to do so
Come to the meeting prepared to discuss the agenda at hand
Read and be familiar with any information that is distributed in advance
At the Meeting
Attend all meetings and if for any reason you can’t, send apologies in advance along with your legitimate reason for being absent
Arrive at meetings on time
Stay until the end of the meeting
Actively participate – that is why you are attending in the first place isn’t it?
Understand that within the meeting everyone has an equal right to participate
Exert peer pressure on other group members by fully supporting the Chair in managing inappropriate behaviour
Share ideas in an honest and open manner
If conflict exists, air these items in the meeting in a professional manner, not after the meeting
Retain confidentiality for any meeting items when agreed to
Once actions have been decided, support the group’s decision
Refrain from complaining about other participants or the group itself when outside the meeting
Raise concerns with the Chair directly
After the Meeting
Complete any tasks that you have responsibility for within the timeframe discussed
Share with the Chair any observations that might provide helpful learning for the future
In conclusion, the ‘how’ of the meeting is just as important as the ‘what’ since it is the collective energies, commitment and actions of the group that will help us to accomplish so much more than any of us can individually. Note that further consideration was given to the ‘how’ of creating a thinking environment for meetings in this earlier blog series.
Since this is my final blog for 2012, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been reading these pieces. While formal comments within the blogs have been minimal, I have appreciated the references that colleagues have made about the blogs along with the retweets when these have been posted to twitter. I hope that you have found these blogs to be of interest. Do check back in the New Year and in the meantime, I wish you the very best for the holiday season and for 2013.