There are many times I have heard volunteers say after a meeting, “What a waste of time – we should have been finished an hour ago.” That should be a wake up call to all of us who organize meetings. Even comedian Milton Berle knew how painful meetings could be when he said,“A committee or board is a group of people who take minutes and waste hours.”
I’ve discovered three golden rules for volunteers:
1. give them work
2. never waste their time
3. recognize them.
For EOs and Chairpersons, we need to step up our game and respect our volunteers’ time. I could write a small book on how to improve meetings but here are some tips;
– Never call a meeting for the sake of calling a meeting
– Have a short and concise agenda and stick to it
– Don’t let one or two people dominate the discussion
– Get everyone’s opinion but reduce repetition
– Set a time for the length of the meeting and don’t go over
– If there are only a few items to discuss, try a conference call
Let’s make the volunteer experience productive and satisfying. Now is the time.