Running successful meetings

Learn about agendas and minutes

A bit of planning can help you keep meetings on track.

As commissioner, you’re responsible for chairing the meetings for your district, division or county.  

Chairing a meeting for the first time can be nerve-wracking. A great way to get started is by introducing yourself to the team and sharing your plan for how the meeting will run.  

At your first meeting, you should also share your vision for your guiding area. Give details of your expectations and what these mean to members of the team. 

Before your meeting 

Before your first meeting, talk to the outgoing commissioner about how meetings have been structured. You don’t have to follow this exactly, but it helps you know what to expect. You should check minutes from earlier meetings and find out about any decisions that have been made recently. 

If you’re a county commissioner, study the county constitution so you know who should attend and who is able to vote. Each county in Girlguiding is run as a separate charity and, by law, will have a governing document which says how the county should be run. Find out more about constitutions.

Setting the agenda 

Keep your meeting focussed by preparing an agenda – a list of the talking points and topics that will be covered. About 2 weeks before your meeting, share the agenda with everyone who’s coming. 

Try to avoid changing your agenda during the meeting. If you need to make changes to your plans, do this before the meeting and let everyone know. This means everyone has a chance to prepare for the discussions. 

Adding a time for talking about ‘any other business’ on your agenda means there’s space for anything unexpected comes up. 

Making it official 

As this meeting will include trustees of the county, it’s an official meeting. This means that: 

  • It should be held in a formal location, as explained in your constitution - such as a hall.  
  • Official minutes must be kept 
  • Clear proposals are given 
  • A democratic process must be followed, this will be set out in the county constitution.