Committees of all types provide support to the governance of your organization.
How can you increase your effectiveness as a staff liaison to those committees? Here are some tips for fulfilling your role and building a solid partnership with your committee chair and committee members.
- Recognize that you are a valuable resource to the committee in helping to advance its work while advancing the organization’s goals and objectives.
- Spend time fully understanding the committee’s background, its previous work accomplishments, and organizational policies that might impact that committee.
- Become thoroughly familiar with the committee’s current scope of work and the outcomes it hopes to achieve for the coming year.
- Understand that every committee has a “culture,” a set of assumptions, attitudes and beliefs that guide its behavior. Do your best to figure out and adapt to the culture as quickly as possible.
- Work with the committee chair to:
- Develop an annual written work plan with timelines that will keep the committee focused and able to accomplish its priorities;
- Prepare agendas, and distribute prior to meetings;
- Facilitate robust committee discussions and activities that address the committee’s charge;
- Foster a culture of openness and transparency, and respect for all committee members as equal partners in discussions;
- Provide orientation for new and continuing committee members each year; and
- Provide administrative and on-site support for planning and follow-up of all committee meetings
- Draft reports of committee meetings for review and approval
- Facilitate communication of committee updates and requests for action to the chief staff executive and board.
- Where appropriate, offer suggestions for proposed products and services that will help advance the organization’s mission.
- Encourage self-assessment of the committee from time to time on individual and overall committee performance.
- Recognize that your work with the committee chair and its members is a partnership, with each role having its own set of responsibilities and complementing one another.
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