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Chairperson Duties

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A chairperson is an officer of an organization, committee or meeting—a discussion leader. Part of a team that includes a secretary, treasurer and the committee members, the chairperson should help stimulate a team or committee and come up with common goals.

Before a Meeting

The chairperson needs to remain aware of all signed documents and financial requirements for the committee. Before a meeting, the chairperson should meet with the secretary to discuss any matters the meeting will cover. They should both go over and prepare an agenda for the meeting. They should also check to determine whether the committee members received the documents and reports regarding the meeting. The chairperson should also keep track of how long the meeting will last and ensure that all members have signed in before the meeting. The chairperson and secretary should also be aware of any presented tasks. Lastly, the chairperson should ensure that the group finishes all important tasks before the meeting takes place.

During a Meeting

The chairperson should open the meeting and check for quorum, or the number of members present. Members should have signed their names before the start of the meeting. Once the meeting starts, the chairperson should conduct the meeting according to the agenda. If time permits, the chairperson can allow debates, comments or concerns during the meeting. The chairperson should take steps to ensure that meeting attendees get a chance to address their concerns while preventing any private discussions. The chairperson needs to decide who gets to speak during the meeting, or whether two people get to speak at the same time. The chairperson also has the authority let the meeting go over the allotted time (if necessary) or to close the meeting, at which case the group should have addressed all matters at hand.

Ethics of the Chairperson

Ethics are also important responsibilities for the chairperson, who should maintain a certain level of character before, during and after meetings. Chairpersons should never force their point of view upon a meeting. They can help to express their matters for others to discuss or agree upon. It’s best for the chairperson to make a wrong decision rather than to decide or change her mind on a ruling. The chairperson should present any factual information before calling on debates. If a chairperson presents an agenda, he feels strongly about, he should leave the chair temporarily. Lastly, a chairperson should only leave the chair before the debate starts, after the mover has spoken or while congratulating someone.

About the Author

Based in Massachusetts, Chanel Adams has been writing since 2009. Her work has been published by the "Lowell Sun," MadeMan.com, Coed Media and other print and online publications. She has knowledge in fashion, careers, health, education, computers and electronics. Adams has an Associate of Science in administrative medical assisting from San Joaquin Valley College.