The role of the Chair is key to effective corporate governance in an organisation. This note will explore one of the most important and visible activities – chairing a meeting. A successful Chair will need to utilise many different skills and call upon past experiences and, like most challenges in the workplace, many of these are people related.
Everyone who has attended meetings will have witnessed both badly and well-run meetings. Draw on these experiences as they are invaluable, real life examples of the skills you will need. The referee in a football match is only memorable if they have had a bad game. No one remembers their contribution otherwise. Good chairing can be viewed in a similar way. Meetings have a purpose and are meant to achieve things. Decisions should be made, and resolutions passed. They should not be used for “training”. If board development sessions are required, arrange a separate time. The mindset of the Chair should be to facilitate the meeting and not dominate it. All the points should be heard even those to which the Chair disagrees. Your aim is to ensure that all the business on the agenda is covered in the time allocated to the meeting and that all attendees have the chance to participate. This note will help you achieve that.