Meetings are an indispensable part of Chamas. Members must meet every week or every month to conduct affairs of the Chama. If you lead Chama meetings or attend them as a participant, you know that some people do things that disrupt the flow of productivity. Here are some things you should avoid during Chama meetings.
Coming unprepared to the meeting
Being overly tired, hungry, sleepy, ill, or bored brings a potential problem to the Chama meeting. Instead, eat, rest, and plan well before the next Chama meeting. If you don’t
feel well, opt out rather than come and be unproductive. When the meeting begins, be ready to jump in and do your part.
Disagreement is fine, but needless debate wastes everyone’s valuable time. After sharing your dissenting view, wait to see how others will respond. If things don’t go your way, contact the target person after the meeting to continue the discussion in a friendly fashion.
Rude body language
Sleeping, spinning your chair, leaving the room frequently for washroom breaks, getting up to pace or get several cups of tea, and making physical gestures or disapproving facial expressions should be saved for another occasion. Chama meetings are serious business.
Refusing to participate may earn you a label as someone who can’t get things done. Be ready to share an idea or make a suggestion. Listen to others and take notes, if appropriate. Engage in the discussions; otherwise don’t bother to show up. Get the most from your meetings by contributing as a participant, not just going along for the ride. Not only will you help other attendees, you also will benefit from the investment of time and effort.
When did it become acceptable to have a feast during the Chama meeting? The occasional snack might be understandable. However, if you feel like you need to bring a meal, you need to check the timing and duration of the meeting.
Taking Phone Calls
We have all been in a Chama meeting where someone not only interrupts the meeting with a ringing phone, but then actually answers the call in the meeting. At a minimum, have the courtesy to step out of the room and excuse yourself.
Yes, other Chama members can see you tapping on your phone. You are not making eye contact if you are staring at your phone screen, nor are you paying attention. And yes, everyone knows that you are texting your friend across the table.
Some of us are comfortable coming for a Chama meeting more than 15 minutes late.
Showing up 25 minutes in an hour meeting is disrespectful to everyone that was there on time. Learn to keep time and be there when the meeting starts.
No Show No Excuse
How many times have you sat in a Chama meeting and everyone is sitting around a table going, “Is Stella coming?” “I don’t know.” Be responsible and always communicate if you plan to skip the Chama meeting. Silence is plain rude.
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