Learning the tips, tricks, and skills for your role
Presentation from the Chairperson Leadership Training on July 9th
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Learning the tips, tricks, and skills for your role
Learning the Tips, Tricks
and Skills for Your Role
Chairperson Leadership Training
"Shaping the Future: Community Living through the DD Act"
2014 NACDD Annual Conference/TA Institute
July 7-10, 2014
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
Gail Godwin, MA Shared Support Maryland, Inc.
• I’m excited to present to this group of Council Chairs on
this topic. I’ve been involved in groups lead by and with
people with disabilities for over 20 years. These include
personal planning with people, working together at the
same agency, supervised by someone with a disability,
TASH – committees, MASH, SSMD’s Board is made up of
a variety of people and of course just ended my 10 year
stint on our Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council
where I believe the most incredible inclusion of leaders
happens. Someone early on also told to keep my mouth
shut (semi direct quote) and said that I don’t know
everything…. A paremt said to me never to say I
understand what you are going through, but again tojust
stop and listen… From these experiences and adviceI’ve
learned so much.
It’s All in the Planning
• Most of the tips that I’m going to review are tools
and suggestions that happen way before the
• During the meeting is vital ~ how you prepare and
plan is essential
Leaders ~ Endless Roles
• The Chair and the Exec aren’t the only leadership roles as we know.
• People can be in many leadership roles – those that have the actual
skills in larger leadership roles have a place. These are things like
defining the needs of a group and organizing around them, Kicking off
and leading topics for discussing, planning and resolution, leading a
process (new or one of change), establish groups for action.
• Other people can take leadership roles in different ways – where they
lead by example or are influential, take charge within conversation, lead
an established group with a set of action steps to implement
• Identify all of the opportunities within your council where all of the
different types of leadership can happen.
While of value ~ not necessarily
• Being able to share ones “opinion”.
• “For consideration”
• Not taking part in a bigger picture.
• “Advisory Committees”
• Being on too sub of a committee
• Including people at a meeting or in a process where no
one speaks up or is included in real discussion ~
presence is not inclusion or leaderships ~ no tokenism
~ for anyone…
Tips, Tricks and Tools
• Do you know your membership?
• Do you know what people are good at? Do you know what
people’s interests, passions, hot topics are? Do you know why
they wanted to join the council?
• Do you know people’s personalities, communication styles and
• There are the questions that lead you to…
• Are they matched up to the right committee? Monitoring the right
grants? Base this on capacity and interest as much as you can (as
one would for any council member) if you are involved in that
decision making process.
• And MORE
Getting to Know You
• Have a process to get to know council members so
that people’s best abilities are used and/or they end
up in a position on the council where contribution is
mutual, involved in committees and projects where
they show interest and will be productive for
themselves and the council!
• Make this a practice for everyone – even if you are
new to your role, schedule time with people by phone,
in person, facetime/skype, chat….
Prepare a list of questions
• Tell the member a little bit about yourself, your experience on the
• Ask the person to tell a little about themselves and ask why they were
interested in joining the council
• Talk about participation on the council that goes beyond the number
of required meetings and committees per year (attendance)
• It’s expected that people have input and help make major decisions
about the strategy of the council, federal funding to their state, whether
or not projects are really inclusive.. Why the person was then
CHOSEN to be on the council.
• Some people dive in right away and some people take more than a
year to settle in – ask the person where they think they fall in
• Ask how the person can best be supported by you as the chair and
the other members of the council.
• How do people activity get involved in important
conversations that lead to action and outcomes or
provide major influence over process and decisions? Do
you understand someone’s communication style? What
will you do with that information?
• Word on communication devices ~ wait, no discussions
while someone is typing, wait, no discussions while
someone is typing, wait some more.
• Do people need support / entre into a conversation –
introduction into the topic
• “tangents” ~ have you noticed that when you wait… listen…
there are less “tangents” than you think?
• Are people prepared for meetings? Pre meeting optional
conference calls (for everyone) gives an opportunity for
anyone needing additional support in understanding the
agenda, topics, etc. to prepare ahead of time.
• Pair members or staff or past members (we are looking for
people who are familiar with the council roles and process) up
with people that need additional support to prepare personally
outside of the prep meetings. To help decide on talking points,
• Support at the meeting – big decisions to make here. Does
the person bring a non-member, do you pair up members or
staff or both at meetings as someone needs? How do you
assure that the supporter isn’t influencing the person or
speaking for the person?
Roles at the meeting
• Decide and prepare ahead of time for people to take charge and
lead conversations on committee reports, projects and grants, ask
ahead of time if people would speak on a happening in your state,
• Assure that there are no side-bar conversations, people on their
electronics and that there is follow up to as many presentations,
comments as possible – meaning acknowledge what the person is
saying and ask follow up questions – go back to the group to
assure everyone is on the same page
• Has everyone taken a turn, been heard, had a say – gauge this
over the course of your meetings, assess, decide what to do, plan
again, adjust and check in
• What is tokenism?
• Why do we think it happens?
• How do you know it’s happened – don’t assume
• Ask people ~ do regular checkin’s
• Fix it immediately ~ go back through your tips,
tricks and tools