Monday, 11 May 2009

How to behave in a committee

For those of us who work in big organisations, it is quite inevitable that we find ourselves to be a member of a committee. Committees are meant as a way for people from different sections to meet and work towards a common interest. It helps to bring out different ideas and opinions to be heard and shared. Committees also serve as an avenue to distribute workload.

The flip side to this is when the committee is made up of hard-headed individuals, decisions don't get made and work gets bogged down. It is even worse if the committee is led by an ineffective chairman. But the ineffective chairman is not as bad as the irresponsible one... the one that takes the credit when the committee does something good. When there's a cock-up, the members of the committee share the blame.

I've had my share of sitting in committees and sub-committees during the early years of my career. Nowadays I prefer to work as a lone ranger. Tough sometimes... but quick and efficient.

Here's a light-hearted look on this subject that I came across from one of my old files:

How to behave in a committee

Having served on various committees, I have drawn up a list of rules :-

1. Never arrive on time; this stamps you as a beginner.
2. Don’t say anything until the meeting is half over; this stamps you as wise.
3. Be as vague as possible; this avoids irritating the others.
4. When in doubt, suggest a sub-committee be appointed.
5. Be the first to move for adjournment; this will make you popular. It’s what everyone is waiting for.

Work hard and stay cool. Have a good week guys.

18 comments:

Dad of 4+1 said...

I am a lone ranger too! But the tips is fantastic! Must make mental note now if ever I need to serve in a committee

Anonymous said...

Oldstock..
Thanks for the tips.. would put them in practice later...

Anyway my policy is..
Work smart and stay cool...

have a nice day..
miezarra

Madam Markonah said...

If that's the case, I make a perfect committee member hehehe!

Chahya said...

I was doing #3 when I wrote on Courtesy hehehe...

Anonymous said...

Me think a dynamic Chair-person is half the battle won in any committee discussion.

Was it Mr Lee Kuan Yew who said that any meeting, discussion or brainstorming that drag on in excess of 1 hour is a failure itself ?

allanwee

VersedAnggerik said...

hehehe.... no wonder I'm not on any committee!

I abhor committees and meetings actually. Strongly feel that meetings are where minutes are kept, but hours are wasted!

Oldstock said...

Dad of 5,

Once in a while it's good too serve on a committee. Makes you feel sort of an important person, walaupun kejap. The malay word is jawatankuasa... so macam ada jawatan dan berkuasa, heheheh.

Seems that you spotted my old kampung house in Pontian. Myself pun dah lama tak balik kampung. Last was around one year ago when my aunt who stayed in that house, passed away.

I'll try to spot your kampung house next time I visit my relatives in Air Baloi.

Tapi kan... kita ni kerjanya melihat rumah each other je. Orangnya tak tahu bila akan berjumpa, hahaha :-)

Oldstock said...

Mie,

Mana boleh put in practice... nanti you akan kekal dalam committee sampai bila-bila, heheheh.

Dulu I pun work smart jugak, tapi la ni... work as little as possible ;-)

Oldstock said...

Madam,

You don't want to be the perfect member, otherwise you may find yourself stuck in the committee forever, hehehe.

Oldstock said...

Chahya,

Yes, I get what you were trying to say in that COURTESY post... cuma jarang baca any grumbles from you, sebab tu I usik sikit :-)

Oldstock said...

Hi allanwee,

Most of the meetings that I chair, I'll try to keep within 1.5 hours max. But those days are gone now. I prefer not to be involved unless I have to. Let the young guns take over.

Oldstock said...

Verse,

Sometimes cannot be avoided lah... especially when people co-opt you to serve in one, apparently because you have certain sets of skills. Kalau you involve in voluntary organisations lagi takleh nak escape. You should know ;-)

mamasita said...

I love rules No 4 and 5! Will abide by them diligently! haha

Nurie said...

can I add another tip - always provide good snacks with coffee/tea. Ensure full attendance from members! heh heh....

Snakebite said...

once upon a time in america, someone came up with this idea that people are most productive when they play...tgk lah pakcik pakcik kita main badminton, punya le semangat, tapi masa meeting? so i cuba try dgn buat main main kat mesorat, setakat ni i berjaya takat 5 peratus di peringkat jawatankuasa persatuan penduduk je..

Oldstock said...

mamasita,

Be careful when suggesting a sub-committee. You may end up heading it... heheheh :-)

Oldstock said...

Nurie,

I support this additional rule of yours whole-heartedly. Make sure when issuing the letter calling for meeting, the words `Snacks / refreshments provided' are printed in BOLD.

Oldstock said...

Snake,

Main badminton bahaya sikit la bro, semenjak dua menjak ni. Ada je yg kena heart attack masa main badminton.