Role of the Chairperson
‘Of a good leader, When his task is finished, his goal achieved, They will say, ‘We did this ourselves’.’ (Loe-tse – Chinese Philosopher)
What does a Chairperson do?1. The Chairperson must be a person who is fully committed to the aims of the Organisation and be prepared to work hard in the interests of the Organisation. 2. The Chairperson acts as a spokesperson or a representative of the Organisation. 3. Acts as controller of all discussions at meetings. 4. Ensures that the Organisation has a monthly meeting of officers and members.
Qualities of a Good Chairperson1. Ability to conduct in a pleasant tactful manner and with complete impartiality. 2. Ability to speak clearly and succinctly. 3. Have a friendly disposition and a sense of a humour. 4. Posses the ability to think objectively, and always control emotions. 5. Have the ability to delegate responsibilities, so that the maximum number of members become involved and gain the experience.
How should a Chairperson go about the Job?1. It is important that the chairperson has a good working relationship with all fellow officers. The chairperson is the leader of the team. 2. The chairperson needs to be thoroughly familiar with matters of procedure, with the Constitution and Rules, and with the working of the whole Organisation. 3. The ability to delegate responsibilities is also very important. This ensures that the maximum number of people become actively involved in the running of the Organisation. It also acts as a good introduction to future leaders.
Duties before the Meeting
The chairperson should consult with the Secretary to ensure that a) Suitable premises and facilities for the meeting are arranged; b) The agenda is prepared; c) Each item on the agenda and their implications are fully understood; d) Anyone who is to report to the meeting is aware of the fact.
Duties at Meetings
1. Arrive in good time and start the meeting on time.
2. Lay out the chairs in an informal manner, in a circle or ‘horseshoe’ shape to encourage discussion and participation. The size of the meeting will determine whether this seating arrangement is feasible or not. 3. Declare the meeting open; it is not a legal meeting otherwise. 4. Receive apologies for absence. 5. Have minutes adopted and signed. 6. Deal with each item on the agenda. Take a decision on each item before moving on to the next. 7. Curtail any discussion which is not relevant to the current item on the agenda. 8. Sum up points made during a discussion. It will help when making a decision on a matter if a summary of points for and against a motion are put to the meeting.
9. When motions have been proposed, seconded and agreed, or action recommended, he/she should make sure that the Secretary has noted the information and especially the action to be taken and the person who is to take it. 10. Ensure that everyone who wants to speak on an issue gets the opportunity. It is the Chairperson’s responsibility to encourage shy or hesitant people to contribute to the meeting. If two people wish to speak at the same time, the Chairperson indicates the person who is to speak first. His/her decision is final. 11. Remember, most importantly, you are there to guide the meeting. 12. Finally, the meeting must be declared closed.
Duties after the Meeting
1. Try to mix with people after the meeting to get their views and feedback. 2. Check that those members who have been delegated responsibilities understand what their tasks involve 3. Try to give recognition and encouragement to all members, it is vital for motivation and success.