We hear from Family Council members that they sometimes dread going to Family Council meetings. There are a number of reasons why this happens, and it is not uncommon for Family Council members to feel burnt out from the long list of “to dos”, the lack of time ‘to do’ the work, and the feeling of being overwhelmed. The following five considerations might help to alleviate some of those feelings:
- Ensure that the Family Council agenda is specific: does it have timeframes around discussions, does it include questions or comments for participants to reflect on and prepare for in advance of the meeting?
- Avoid getting mired in details that are best left to committee members. This not only keeps those details where they belong, it shows that the Council has faith in the committee chair’s ability to champion and execute specific initiatives;
- Recruit Council members who are interested in doing the work, making a difference. This may mean that you need to revisit the branch-representation rule, if you have one;
- Prioritize objectives, and projects. If FC members constantly feel overwhelmed with Council work, it is possible that the initiatives planned for the next year or two are simply too ambitious. Projects can look great and sound wonderful on paper. Finding the time to implement them successfully can be impractical, given that most people are time-starved. Do what is do-able!
- Stop beating yourselves up for what is NOT getting done. Look at what you’ve accomplished. Celebrate those accomplishments and communicate them to the family.