RFL Training Plan: Best Meeting Ever

Have you ever walked into a Relay For Life meeting knowing you would spend the next hour bored out of your mind or playing around on your phone? Or have you ever walked out of that same meeting not understanding the point of the meeting and wondering why you couldn’t have just read an email? Putting together a great Relay For Life event takes time, energy, and manpower - don’t waste any of those by having crappy meetings! Read on to learn more about hosting good meetings and delegating effectively!

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To facilitate an effective meeting use the following tips:

  • Beginning
    • Share a known agenda
      • Create and share an agenda before the meeting so everyone knows what will be discussed and what is expected of them
    • Start with some warm ups or ice-breakers
      • This will help create a more open climate that will encourage everyone to be engaged and comfortable
  • During
    • Lead with Mission
      • Take a moment during every meeting to remind everyone why they’re there - have an ELT member share their story, present information about a patient service, or do a small project like writing letters or making care packages for patients at a local cancer care center
    • Manage disruptive behaviors
      • Don’t ignore poor behavior like the group of Chatty Kathy's in the back or the kid on his phone in the corner - do your best to draw them into the full group conversation
    • Don't ignore differences
      •  During group conversations, be sure to oversee and regulate differences in opinion. Don’t ignore the issue and hope it will go away, but actively try to find a solution that addresses both perspectives
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  • After
    • Summarize important decisions
      • Ensure that everyone knows what was discussed and decided upon by reviewing progress and tieing up loose ends
    • Create action items
      • This will give everyone a specific task they must complete, which will both highlight the importance of their work and commitment, as well as help you complete more tasks to plan your Relay!

A quick note about Action Items - these are a great way to delegate tasks! Although delegation may seem like losing your power or control over a project- or cause you to worry over the quality of task completion- delegation is crucial to the overall success of both your volunteers and your event. Communicate the task clearly to the right people and have confidence that you’ve trained your volunteers well enough that they can do the job! Check in to ensure they’re on the right track, but don’t be a micromanager. Be patient and understanding as your volunteers learn to make things happen, and celebrate their successes just as much as you celebrate your own! Together, you can create a better event experience and raise more money for the life saving mission of the American Cancer Society.