An important aspect of a councillor’s role is the effective chairing of meetings. For both councillors and managers, meetings serve as a forum for discussion and agreement, planning and monitoring, communication and leadership.
When chaired well, meetings can challenge, inspire, illuminate and inform. Whether it is committee meetings in council or meetings of residents and groups in your local area, meetings are a mainstay of the political management process.
Chairing council meetings can sometimes be a demanding process because of the personalities involved. People respond in different, sometimes unpredictable ways when trying to convince others of their point of view – particularly when this is overlaid with the essential politics of local government.
Arguments are common and conflict is not unusual. This is true enough in one-to-one situations, but is particularly so in group meetings. Here (see below), two of the LGA’s member peers consider what makes for effective chairing.