Working in the voluntary sector
Working in the voluntary sector

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Working in the voluntary sector

Week 6: Effective meetings

Introduction

Meetings are used to coordinate and plan work, to make decisions, to monitor progress, to consult with volunteers or users of the organisation’s services, to give support and for many other reasons.

In the past, meetings often took place in formal settings, such as offices and meeting rooms, and nearly always involved people meeting ‘face to face’. Times have changed though, and you have probably experienced sitting in a café hearing people nearby taking part in a meeting via their mobile phone or laptop.

There is much more flexibility now, but does this mean people find meetings more effective? The chances are that people still complain about having too many meetings, as well as ones that accomplish little. When resources are tight and people have too much work to do they may feel that yet another meeting is unhelpful.

However, meetings do not have to be a bad experience. During this week you will engage in a variety of activities and tasks to help you think about what can be done to make meetings more effective and enjoyable.

Start by watching this video in which Julie Charlesworth introduces you to Week 6.

Download this video clip.Video player: volb2_week6-640x360.mp4
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Transcript

JULIE:
Welcome to Week 6. Last week you explored the key role of fundraising. This week, you will learn about taking part in or chairing meetings.
Meetings are an inevitable part of organisational life, and they happen at all levels of organisations and can involve paid staff as well as volunteers. You will look at the strengths and weaknesses of different types of meetings and find out what makes a meeting effective. You’ll draw on your own experience of being in meetings as a participant or chairing a meeting. It’s also important to explore alternatives to traditional face-to-face meeting as teams become more dispersed and online meeting methods become available.
By the end of this week you’ll have learnt how meetings can work well or less well. And you’ll also have some practical ideas to apply to your own work or volunteering.
End transcript
 
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By the end of this week, you should be able to:

  • analyse and describe the strengths and weaknesses of meetings you are familiar with
  • distinguish between different types of meeting and the activities that are appropriate in each
  • plan what you need to do to prepare for a meeting in which you are to take part
  • explain what is involved in being an effective chair, secretary or participant in a meeting
  • analyse your own strengths and weaknesses when taking part in meetings and what you might do to address any weaknesses
  • know what is involved in recording and following up on meetings.
VOLB_2

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