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Running an Effective Meeting


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Jason Fossum and Kayley Schoonmaker

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Running an Effective Meeting

  1. 1. Running an Effective Meeting By Jason Fossum
  2. 2. Basic principles to remember Robert’s Rules of Order were created to help groups run effective meetings. The rules were designed to:  Protect the right of the minority to express its opinion.  Allow the majority to ultimately rule.  Allow groups to process business as needed in a fair and orderly manner.  Be applied only as strictly as needed.
  3. 3. Meetings are effective when…. Debate and discussions occurs in an orderly and respectful manner. Business is dealt with in a fair and open process. The minority opinion on issues have had their say. Your agenda is dealt with efficiently.
  4. 4. Keys to being an effective chair You as the chair play an important role in the effectiveness of your meetings. As the chair, you have a few key responsibilities and rights which will help you be effective. They are: To provide an unbiased application of the rules To ensure controlled debate Provide adherence to the agenda To know how to deal with motions To apply the rules only as strictly as needed
  5. 5. Unbiased application of the rules What does it mean to be unbiased? Not entering into debate Not unduly influencing discussion Protecting every opinion, even if you disagree. Not allowing personalities to interfere in business. What can you do as chair? Provide information helpful to the discussion (but don’t enter into debate while doing it). Answer questions that are raised. Break a tie – in most cases.
  6. 6. Ensuring controlled debate As the chair, it’s up to you to be sure that debate on issues remains focused and under control. In general, that means:  Stopping the “run away trains.”  Enforcing speaker limitations when necessary.  Focus on hearing both sides.  Understanding how rules apply in situations of importance.
  7. 7. Ensuring controlled debate Robert’s Rules of Order limits the right of any member to speak on a given issue twice in one day. Robert’s Rules has motions that can be made that limit debate. For example:  Previous Question Robert’s Rules requires that all speakers stay focused on the business at hand and chairs can rule debate out of order.
  8. 8. Knowing the rules It’s important that you have a general understanding of Robert’s Rules. It is NOT necessary that you know everything. Don’t be afraid to buy a book and have it with you! Understanding how to deal with motions will make or break your meeting. Know your bylaws!
  9. 9. Dealing with motions Main motions: should address your item of business and seek to deal with it in some way. Amendments: will seek to change the main motion in some manner. Understanding the most efficient way to deal with these will make your meetings run amazing!
  10. 10. Dealing with motions Using the logical precedence of motions will help you work through your business. You must deal with all amendments before dealing with the main motion.
  11. 11. Dealing with motions There are four categories of motions in Robert’s Rules: Main motion Subsidiary motion: are used to change how a main motion is handled or debated (amendment is most common of this category). Incidental motion: purpose is to allow for questioning of procedure (point of order is most common). Privileged motion: are used to bring other business, usually unrelated to the main motion before the body (lay on the table is a common motion in this category).
  12. 12. Commonly used motions Lay on the Table: allows for temporary set aside of your main motion. Postponement: allows for longer term set aside of debate on the main motion. Previous Question: allows for the immediate end to debate on the main motion and forces a vote. Division: allows for clarification on the result of a voice vote. Reconsider: allows for further debate on an issue that has already been acted upon.
  13. 13. Application of the rules Robert’s Rules requires that the rules only be applied as strictly as necessary to complete your business. What does this mean?
  14. 14. Application of rules If you don’t need to enforce a rule, don’t. Only limit people to speaking twice if they’re excessive and obviously trying to slow down the business. Don’t use unnecessary motions. Allow people some latitude until they take advantage of you. A friendly reminder is always a good first step.
  15. 15. Questions?
  16. 16. Mock Meeting… Let’s see it in action!