Chairing Difficult Meetings – 1 day


The programme focusses on the skills, knowledge and behaviours which can best help to make chairing meeting an enjoyable and effective aspect of the social work role. It is designed for those with little/no experience and as a refresher for those who regularly do so.

The programme will take a practical and reflective approach; participants will have the opportunity to try chairing and taking minutes of meetings and to reflect on their learning. ‘Real Play’ is used, where delegates actually chair meetings about the topics they find difficult. This allows them to experience a real meeting and to gain knowledge/support from colleagues about the specific themes they find most difficult. Real Play differs from role play, as delegates do NOT play character roles, but themselves.

A particular focus on chairing and taking minutes (which so many staff report they have to do!) is given and a tool to help is shared.

As this programme is interactive and group work, it is very much recommended that:

  • The group size is about 12-16 ideally
  • That a venue with 4-5 spaces (very large room or break out rooms is used).  4 or 5 groups cannot all ‘real play’ a meeting at the same time unless a very large space is made available and ideally this should be break out rooms
  • Delegates are clear on their participation prior to attending

Learning Outcomes:

Participants will be offered the opportunity to:

  • understand what an effectively chaired meeting looks and feels like
  • feel more confident about chairing meetings
  • have learned techniques to improve their chairing skills and know how to manage difficult meetings well
  • have reflected on and understand the power and dynamics of meetings with particular reference to service users and partner organisations
  • have reflected on their own practice in chairing meetings
  • have experienced writing an agenda, chairing a meeting and taking minutes
  • have used a tool to aid chairing and minute taking at the same time
  • identified transferable skills to help in chairing meetings