The Strawberry Patch

Enrichment and Inspiration for Beta Sigma Phi Sisters from Marilyn Ross

Tips For Committees


 A committee is simply a smaller version of the chapter itself. An entire chapter is too large and unwieldy a number to be concerned in the preliminary planning of every detail of chapter activity. The preliminary planning, therefore, is delegated to a committee which is representative of the chapter, and which is able to function smoothly and efficiently because of its size and special interest in a particular activity or area of chapter or council business.


 Effective committees will shorten the time of the business meeting because of the effect of the planning already accomplished.

 a. The membership of a committee should represent the chapter membership as widely as possible.

 b. The members of an effective committee are doers who want to think originally, rather than "rubber stamp" other's ideas.

 c. The members of an effective committee maintain happy working relationships even though their individual viewpoint may differ.


 a. Having a chairman that is a good leader.

 b. Recognition of the importance of each member on the committee.

 c. Sincere, interested and eager members who are able to attend meetings and willing to find a common ground for their ideas.

 d. Awareness that time and patience are required for good group discussion.


 a. Chairman assumes leadership by:

 1. Creating an informal conversational atmosphere.

 2. Steering the discussion toward the accomplishment of the goal without permitting her own ideas to dominate the discussion.

 3. Being receptive to and appreciative of committee members' opinions.

 4. Trying in the kindest possible manner to help those who may have a little difficulty expressing themselves.

 5. Drawing out ideas from those who are timid or reluctant to express themselves.

 b. Assumes responsibility for starting discussions:

 1. She makes sure members have an understanding of the scope of the work to be undertaken.

 2. She may outline or list the main points of the questions being considered and ask members to agree on what they consider the best approach to finding a solution to the question.

 3. She may call for the discussion of the alternate points of view, or for additional information when the need for such is indicated.

 c. She keeps the discussion moving along by:

 1. Encouraging individual members to speak.

 2. Remaining neutral when disagreements develop on the discussion.

 3. Turning back to the group questions directed at the chairman, giving the group the opportunity to answer them.

 4. Presenting questions in such a way that their answers will bring out useful information or opinions rather than just a yes or no reply.

 5. Summarizing points of views offered by individual members by:

 A. Occasionally, summarize the discussion so you can more easily move to a new point in the discussion.

 B. Bring the discussion back to the main point from which it had strayed.

 C. List important points of agreement or disagreement. It is advisable to look first for the points on which there is agreement and then work out whatever remaining questions there are on which the group has not yet agreed.

 d. Bringing the discussion to a close by:

 1. Finishing the points before the members lose interest.

 2. Summarizing the main ideas expressed by the group.

 3. Asking the group to verify these summaries.

 4. Leading the group to taking action by asking for a motion or a recommendation from the group.

 5. Giving recognition and praise to the group for its accomplishments.

 6. Making sure all committee members are clear as to the time, place and subject matter of the next meeting before this one is adjourned.

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