Archive for October, 2010
I hate chairing meetings!
It’s quite odd when you think about it, because I have no trouble facilitating group workshops — I really enjoy that.
If you analyse the skills required to chair meetings and to facilitate workshops, they are virtually the same. You need to be good at listening and summarising. You need to be good at responding to people and keeping them on track. You need to have a good sense of timing and be able to keep in mind the overall structure and aims.
I can do all of those things when I’m leading a workshop and I feel very comfortable, but when I’m chairing a meeting I feel awkward and nervous and out of control.
The difference in my attitude might be explained by the fact that, even though the skills are the same, the role is different. In my mind, the role of a meeting chair is more formal and more serious than the role of a facilitator. I have two different pictures in my head when I think about the different roles. One is more consistent with my self image than the other — even though the practicalities of the roles are very similar.
When we think about matching ourselves to a career, we often think about how our discrete values or skills align with the rewards and requirements of the job. We are dealing with quite abstract and artificially separated concepts.
A more sophisticated way of understanding a job might be to look at the different distinct roles that you are required to fulfil as you go through your working day.