Our Council has a Chair/Chairperson who has three primary roles:
- To represent the council at formal and informal meetings and ensure that discussions are carried out in accordance with the council’s constitution and procedural rules.
- To make sure that meetings are run effectively and inclusively, in line with any agreed agenda, to deal with the business at hand. This will include preparation and follow-up, as well as taking charge during the meeting itself.
- To be an effective advocate and representative of your council at meetings and events in your community. You may be required to act as an arbitrator, spokesperson or facilitator at these meetings.
The main council, the committees and the sub committees all have chair/chairmen.
There are no hard and fast rules about how to chair a meeting. The approach you take and the style you adopt will depend largely on the nature of the meeting, the people involved and your own personality. That aside, there are some key roles that most chairs/chairmen adopt:
The spokesperson – summing up other people’s views and being comfortable to put these across to all kinds of people, including large groups.
The organiser – making sure that everyone is prepared for meetings and knows when and where they are going to be and what is going to be discussed. For most formal committee meetings, the mechanics of this will be undertaken by the council officers.
The communicator – making sure that everyone understands what is going on before, during and after the meeting.
The action person – making sure that meetings are not just a ‘talking shop’ but have a purpose and result in action.
The mediator – sometimes finding a compromise between two people or two conflicting ideas – being fair and not letting your own feelings get in the way.