Friday, July 24, 2009

ALA/YALSA: Creating and Building an Effective Committee

As a new committee chairperson this year for YALSA, I got to be a part of training about building and belonging to effective committees. I thought there were several tips and suggestions worth passing on from the session.

Committees can sometimes not work well. It is a good idea to approach committee meetings like board meetings with an overview at the beginning of each meeting, focus for discussions, agendas, calendars, and evaluations of committee meetings.

Six Elements of Committee Effectiveness:
  • There should be a written committee description and/or charge
  • You need to have an effective committee chair.
  • Members should be thoughtfully appointed.
  • It should have accountability to the board.
  • The meetings should be well-run.

Sample Format: Committee Meeting Agenda

I. Call to Order

II. Roll Call

III. Approval of the Minutes of Last Meeting

IV. Members' Reports

V. Old Business

VI. New Business

VII. Announcements

VIII. Adjournment

How to Get Things Done

  • Write things down
  • Set alarms or block things off on the schedule
  • Clarify your projects/seek clarification

Successfully Managing Others

  • The role of a manager is different than that of a leader
  • A Poor Manager is often seen as a bureaucrat
  • By default a manager often becomes the leader as well
  • You must create a shared vision, get feedback, provide ample timeframes, invite discussion and set expectations for communication with deadlines
  • Set expectations early
  • Must use and accept input of committee members to create a shared vision.
  • Be sure to say thank you!

Develop Buy In

  • Pay attention to what people are saying-take their input and use it.
  • It's in how you manage communication
  • Listen and don't shut people out or shout over them or insert yourself
  • Operate with enthusiasm and energy
  • Send Thank you notes!

Implement Your Vision

  • Set time limits and stay on task
  • Take an organized approach
  • State your expectations up front
  • Share open work
  • Let people know if they missed a deadline
  • Take nothing for granted
  • Send reminders
  • Keep things straightforward
  • As a chair, you still need to be a team player because you are also a member!

If you are in a committee hopefully, some of these tips might help!

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