Effective committee meetings

Committee Meetings Challenge

Steve* had taken on a new role as the Chair of an important committee. After a few months he sought me out for coaching, saying that he was struggling with managing meetings. He wanted to address his leadership skills in committee meetings, to avoid being wrong-footed, to improve the speed of decision-making and to have greater confidence in the quality of the decisions made.

What we did

During Steve’s discovery session, we identified the goals that he wanted to achieve with his committee and explored some concerns he had around certain members that he felt might jeopardise progress. As we talked, it became evident that Steve was comparing himself to his predecessor, and worrying that he wouldn’t measure up.

During our next telephone coaching session I worked with Steve to uncover his unique skills and strengths and to help him recognise and appreciate them. We looked at what had led to his appointment and I helped him to internalise why he had been selected – what others could see in him that he couldn’t.

Once Steve acknowledged the skills and strengths he had to offer, he started to become more comfortable with using his own style to lead the committee, rather than worrying about how his predecessor had done it. In time we developed a project to enable him to evaluate the performance of the committee. This in turn led Steve to a better understanding of how to manage those whose behaviours had previously been disruptive.

We then addressed some specific projects that Steve wanted to lead, and worked on how he could do this most effectively; with a particular emphasis on getting clear and well thought out decisions made in a sensible timeframe.

The outcome

Within two months of starting coaching, Steve was bringing new and different topics to our coaching sessions, including other roles that he wanted to explore. I questioned this, reminding him of the issues that had led him to seek out coaching in the first instance.

He acknowledged that in the very first session I had helped him to recognise what was holding him back and his whole focus had immediately shifted.

He was already feeling so much more confident and comfortable with chairing the committee that he was ready to move on and find new challenges!

* Client names have been changed to preserve confidentiality

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