Tips for effective chairing

Graphic of a lightbulb filled with speech bubbles

To mark Association of Chairs' fifth birthday in October, we asked Chairs to share one piece of advice they were given as a new Chair, which they'd like to pass on.

Chairs on Twitter responded with practical advice and tips. Here are a few highlights.

1. Build relationships

  • Take time to get to know trustees so you can understand their skills, views and what they bring to the board.
  • Invest time in the relationship with staff and especially the CEO.

2. Build a good team

  • Do something about diversity.
  • Make sure trustees understand about their role / responsibility.
  • Find a good Vice Chair and Treasurer.

3. Run effective meetings

  • Put strategic topics at the start of the agenda.
  • Produce papers with clear expectations about what will be discussed and the decisions which are needed.
  • Build learning into meetings
  • Keep meetings to time.
  • Facilitate good discussions and know when to close a conversation.

4. Grow as a Chair

  • Be clear about what you want to achieve during your time as Chair and plan how each meeting will deliver this.
  • Pick your battles.
  • Be brave.
  • It's ok to ask questions.
  • Lead by example, demonstrate the behaviour you want to see from your fellow trustees.


View all the responses in the Twitter Moment we created from the replies. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this.

What advice would you add? Please share on Twitter via @AssocOfChairs / #AoCAt5.