Tips on Managing a Meeting or Chairing a Committee

Before

  • Clarify your goals for the meeting and draft an agenda.
  • Give adequate notice for the meeting. In your pre-meeting communication, explain the purpose and goal of the meeting and provide the meeting agenda to the attendees. Invite attendees to suggest changes to the agenda.
  • Have a clear objective for what you want the meeting to accomplish.
  • Notify participants what information you expect them to bring to the meeting and what work they should do in preparation for the meeting.

At the beginning

  • Re-state the task and duration for the meeting; clarify to whom the group is ultimately accountable and what is at stake.
  • Clarify whether the group you are leading is functioning in advisory capacity to an individual or another group, or whether your decisions will directly take effect.
  • Start the meeting with introductions and clarify each person’s role in the meeting.
  • Get buy-in to the agenda by sharing how it was constructed to produce the given result.

During

  • Work through the agenda in sequence, encourage participation by all, and work toward consensus.
  • As the meeting proceeds, clarify and summarize decisions or conclusions reached.
  • At the end, summarize the results of the meeting and review assignments and follow-up agreements.

After

  • Send out notes from the meeting as soon as possible. Include information on what was decided, next steps, and assignments.
  • If a member of the group had to miss the meeting, contact the individual to fill him or her in on what happened; or assign someone to do this on your behalf.
  • Assess how the meeting went with key colleagues; identify any improvements that need to be made or other follow-up.

Elements of an effective meeting

Location, purpose, roles and accountability. Before scheduling any meeting, be sure to consider these components — and several more.
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Is this meeting necessary?

Faculty leaders need to think carefully before calling a meeting. Consider these guiding principles before requesting your colleagues’ time and effort.
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How to develop an agenda

Whether you’re planning for a typical committee or department meeting, or a larger, more formal group, agendas are important for keeping you on track.
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Recorder, timekeeper, and facilitator roles

Stay focused, take detailed notes, and keep the group moving through the agenda. Assign these key tasks to the right people for the most effective meetings.
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Leading committees, task forces, or project teams

Understand the differences between committees, task forces, and project teams; and learn more about the types of working groups commonly used in universities.
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June Merlino, Leadership Coordinator
Phone: 919-966-4838

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