Monday, November 24, 2008
How to Encourage Participation
Too many soccer volunteers spend too much time at too many meetings. Here are some ways a leader can cut down on inefficient meetings.
- Begin the meeting on time. The more you do this, the easier it becomes to get people there for the start. Have minutes and agendas available as attendees enter, do not waste time passing them out. Ask people to review them before the meeting begins.
- Introduce new people, and tell why they are there.
- Review and approve minutes---but do not read them aloud. Presumably, all attendees can read.
- Review the agenda; revise it if necessary. Each agenda item should have a time frame allotted to it. Emphasize that you will be sticking to each time slot.
- Encourage participation by recognizing each speaker. Do not allow one or two people to monopolize discussion. Do not allow the discussion to wander. Be assertive in cutting people off, and moving items along.
- Be directive. Intervene to ask clarifying questions: Is this a request for answers or a call for a vote?
- Handle questions. If answers are unavailable, delay action and appoint someone to gather the necessary information for the next meeting.
- End the meeting by having people leave with a sense of accomplishment. Review actions taken; highlight accomplishments; review what is to be done, and by whom. Arrange the next meeting time and place, then formally close with a word of optimism. And do so on time.
Participation by more than just a few people should be encouraged at meetings.