Chairing meetings skills for Elected Members

Chairing meetings skills for Elected Members – overview

Elected Members are very much in the public eye when they chair meetings. Their role is crucial to the democratic process and they need to be seen to be acting with complete propriety and in accordance with all relevant protocols whenever they are consulting the public or engaged in democratic decision-making. They also need to bear in mind that they represent the Council as well and that their actions and behaviour can affect the Council’s reputation and ‘brand’.

This half-day training workshop has been designed to provide Elected Members who chair meetings with an in-depth knowledge of the protocols and behaviours needed to ensure that meetings are managed not only effectively but also in full accordance with the expectations and requirements of all the various stakeholders.

Full details below or download course outline.

Learning objectives

By the end of the workshop participants will:

  • Understand the role, responsibilities and expected behaviour of a chair and how this fits with Council protocols
  • Understand the importance of representing the council brand and its reputation
  • Appreciate how to manage themselves and others appropriately
  • Understand the importance of preparing for a meeting
  • Know how to present information appropriately
  • Have an action plan to take back and use in their role
Who should attend?

Elected Members of Councils who chair meetings.

Course format

An interactive half-day workshop that balances input with participant discussion and activities. Time is set aside to review learning and identify actions. Attention will also be paid to current Council protocols and how they influence meeting conduct and approach. Exercises and plans produced will relate to real life meetings and groups that are chaired by delegates.

Expert trainer

Amanda is a highly experienced coach and facilitator specialising in providing leadership coaching, management development programmes and facilitation services to the public, private and voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sectors. Her work in the public service sector, in particular, has so far extended to facilitation sessions, focus groups, team development, personal effectiveness skills training, customer service training, performance management training, and specialist leadership and management programmes.

Chairing meetings skills for Elected Members – course outline

1 Introduction

  • Overview
  • Introductions and personal learning aims

2 The role and responsibilities of an effective chair

  • The roles and responsibilities of a chair
  • Methods for creating a meeting environment conducive to maximum participation
    • – What makes a good chair?
    • – How to start a meeting
    • – How to create a conducive environment
  • Summary of the role of a chair and how it aligns with Council protocol

3 Meetings behaviours and the council ‘brand’

  • Group task: Behaviours that are appropriate to meetings
  • The behaviours and what they looks like in practice
    • – Implications of good meeting behaviour and best practice
    • – The need for self-awareness and self-management
  • Upholding the Council brand – why it is important to uphold the Council’s reputation and what the implications are for not doing so

4 Meetings – the challenges

  • Group tasks – the different kinds of meetings that are chaired and the challenges presented
  • Evaluating meeting effectiveness, how challenges are dealt with and ways to manage the issues presented
  • OPTION – If you choose to supply case studies/scenarios, at this point participants can work through them
  • Presenting appropriately
    • – What is involved and what currently gets in the way
    • – Personal effectiveness

5 Preparing for a meeting

  • The benefits of preparation
  • Drawing up meeting plans
  • Opening and closing
  • Timings
  • Prioritising and planning
  • Allowing for the ‘unexpected’

6 Review and action plans

  • Personal and group review
  • Evaluation and action planning