An organization can vary in number. It could be from 10 people to 100 people, and the tactics you use to run any sort of meeting should not change. When running a meeting there are a critical few tips to keep in mind.
Presentation is Key
“Dress for the position you want, not the position you have.” People notice details subconsciously. I am in the mock trial team at Rutgers, we learn several techniques that allow our statements and actions to have more meaning. Dressing well and keeping organized in front of a group helps your image as a leader. Through Mock Trial we learn that body language, hand movements and voice modulation help the jury ( or in this case the group) understand the information you are trying to communicate better.
Body Language. A leader should not be closed off to a group. We have leadership structures to help solve problems. Closing your arms in front of you subconsciously implies that you don’t want to talk or that you are closed off from interaction. It is better to keep your hands to the side or in front of you but not crossed in front of your chest.
Hand Movements. Hand movements helps underline what you say by underlining with action. The trouble with hand movement is to not be too aggressive that the group feels uncomfortable or do not want to contribute to a meeting.
Voice Modulation. Raising and Lowering your voice helps control the meeting. People tend to match voice levels. If the leader is addressing the group in a meeting the group will respond in the same tone. Similarly, raising your voice can grab attention and highlight the specific segments of the information that you are communicating to the group.
Feedback is beneficial
What keeps people committed to a group? People remain committed and supportive of a group when they feel they are apart of the process. Every group has a process in making decisions, forming events, and running the day-to-day meetings. Members of any organization will feel more inclined to go above and beyond for the group if they are included in the day to day activities.
Feedback allows members to speak what is on their mind and what they think needs to be improved. It helps the members of the group put a little bit of their own personality into the organization. It keeps members of the group to be on their toes and allows them become apart of the process of the organization.
There is no such thing as a wrong question or idea!
In middle school I had a teacher that would call people out on “dumb” questions. At the time I never gave it much thought until I took this course ‘Unconventional Strategies for College Student Leadership’ and the read the book Exploring Leadership by Susan Komives. The importance of Feedback and the give and take structure of leadership have been stressed in this book and class. In hindsight, I see this idea implemented in class I take at Rutgers and the organizations I am a part of.
Alpha Phi Omega, a community service fraternity, has shown me the benefits of encouraging questions and ideas. Our fraternity has grown to be one of the largest on campus. We have so many different service events that various members of my organization have collaborated upon, all through various suggestions and questions. In meetings we make time for a question and answer session to help improve the fraternity or to create new service events.
The fraternity has gone on to collaborate with other Greek organizations on campus from our own members suggestion. Acting on these suggestions and questions can help improve organizations and your own leadership.
There is an art to running a meeting and maintaining leadership. Presentation shows us the best ways to carry ourselves as leaders. It allows us to keep in mind the subtle effects of our actions. Feedback shows us to keep an open mind when holding or running a meeting. It helps members become more active and supportive. Lastly you can’t shoot down every idea or question because following up on one of the suggestions made by a member of your organization can help create something truly beautiful. It is through my various experiences that I have learned the key tactics to use in my leadership style. The best part is that the key elements to leadership that I have learned does not stop growing and changing as we gain more experience.