- Meeting a new member
- Holding a Virtual Council Call (VCC)
- Preparing for Council meetings
- Private Council dinners – coming soon
Meeting a new member
After a member is approved join your Council (as a new member or transfers from another Council), Moderators schedule a 45-60 minute video conference call to get to know more about the new member’s background, to help them learn more about you and the other members of your Council and finally, to make sure they are informed about the various ways your Council communicates (email alias, Slack, upcoming VCCs).
A recommended agenda for this meeting is:
- Introduce yourself, a bit about your background / career focus, how you came to be part of the Councils and the role you play as Moderator both during in-person meetings and virtually throughout the year.
- Tell me about your career journey and your current role/team/challenges.
– Keep notes on the conversation so you can recall when to pull this member into conversations in the future (if they have something to share).
– Look for opportunities to weave this new member into the upcoming VCC agenda – both to get introduced and to potentially discuss one or more of their challenges
- Review Council members and methods of communication
– Make sure new member is aware of the Council page, review members/companies on Council and identify 1-3 members who you recommend they connect with based on what they shared previously about their career journey or current challenges.
– Share Council email alias (and in a follow up email)
– Share any VCC calendar invites or let them know when you plan to send out next invite
– Invite them to Slack (if applicable)
– Send follow up email outlining 1:1 connections, email alias and other actions identified in the cal
Holding a virtual conference call (VCC)
Each Council meets virtually in between our in-person meetings. The goal of these calls is to keep members connected to one another and to the resources of the community in between the meetings. These one hour calls can typically cover:
- Roundtable: quick updates, progress towards commitments, current challenges
- Quick coaching session: 1 or 2 challenges raised by members can be covered:
- Goal – context for the challenge, what member is trying to accomplish
- Progress – things the member has tried, is thinking about/considering
- Sticking Point – where the member is stuck, things aren’t progressing as expected, needs traction
- RFH – the member’s specific request for help (RFH) to their fellow council members
- Questions – questions from other council members to ensure they have a good understanding of the problem, context to share the right stories/advice
- Stories/advice – members share experiences or thoughts they think will help
Some notes about virtual council calls:
- Most council hold these calls every 1-2 months
- Set time 3-4 weeks in advance, some Moderators use Doodle to find a good time, others don’t
- Find a good time across timezones using a tool like EveryTimeZone
- Include email@example.com as an invitee to VCCs so they show up on our shared calendar
- Send reminders 1 week and 1 day ahead of the meeting
- If less than 3 members are able to attend, you can choose to cancel the call
Preparing for Council meetings
Before each in-person Council meeting, Moderators have a 1:1 meeting with each member of their Council. Usually this meeting is separate from a new member introduction call but these may be combined if need be. The goal of Council Meeting Prep calls is to *help* members to identify what their intentions are for the in-person meetings, what they can share and what they’d like to learn from their fellow Council members.
A recommended agenda for this meeting is:
- How are you?
What is going on in your world – personally and professionally?
- What’s working well?
What from your organization would others really kill to know or would change their businesses if they knew about? Often these are best practices, great tips or principles that folks outside the organization might not even be aware of. Is there a story you can show and / or tell that someone else could walk away with something that adds value to their businesses? A great vendor? A lot of learnings from a horrible launch? A small change that resulted in big wins? A huge change that did not pay out? An ongoing project that is beginning to show results?
- What is keeping you up at night?
What makes your professional (or personal) life difficult, or making it hard to achieve your objectives?
Members may need help identifying challenges so a Moderator’s job is to listen, make suggestions, offer guidance and to help them to identify ways they can leverage their Council as a professional advisory board.
When topics are identified, if the member is going to lead a discussion, Moderators need to work with members to ensure they are well prepared. These conversations provide the inputs a Moderator needs to plan the meeting agenda.
Private Council dinners – coming soon