“He’s great at chairing a meeting…” “She’s good at getting everyone to speak up, but somehow still manages to finish the meeting in time…” “He runs a good committee…”
Those are some of the accolades we often hear voiced about the Chairs of boards and committees.
But what is it that they are doing right? On the other hand, we also hear things like: “He’s not a natural Chairman…” What is it they are getting wrong?
Chairing a meeting is an art – and a difficult one to boot. Few receive training, with a presumption that years in an executive role will have led to the natural development of chairing skills. But it’s actually a serious challenge as it involves herding humans.
In this bulletin, we explore some of the “dos” and “don’ts” for chairing a good meeting. Of course, being Chair of the Board is not only about meetings, so our next bulletin will focus on another aspect of the job: the relationship with the CEO.
Some of this stuff might seem obvious, but it’s surprising how even the most experienced chairpeople can get into bad habits. (Apologies for the use of “Chair” by the way. It is indeed a piece of furniture but is also the most convenient neutral form…)