The Chama business is done mainly during the monthly meetings. Thus it is important to ensure that your meetings are productive and all or majority of the members attend and are fully engaged. So, when is the best day of the week to conduct a Chama meeting? Well, Monday to Friday evenings are typically the least effective days to hold Chama meetings. Many members have family commitments and want to rush home after work or want to tend to other engagements after work. Therefore, you may find that essential members are not there on week-day evenings. Also, members are typically still in “work mode” on weekday evenings, they are likely to be rushing through the meeting in anticipation to get home. Work-day commitments such as office meetings, over-time, after work tuition may also affect members’ availability on week-day evenings. Therefore, for productivity and participation reasons, it is generally better to conduct meetings on a Saturday or Sunday.
Many Chamas have found that a late-morning Saturday meeting is very effective as members are more alert. You can hold a late morning meeting that ends in a lunch break. This allows people time to finish off important chores they have at home they have before the meeting. Plus, members can stay on the discussion longer, if required, unlike an evening meeting where they usually have to rush home.
Lunch meetings can be beneficial as they often save members some time by combining eating with getting work done or information shared in a Chama setting. Lunch meetings should include light, foods containing both carbohydrates and proteins to boost alertness during meeting and decrease the sleepiness factor for the afternoon. No alcohol should be allowed in the meeting. Instead serve water or tea which is better for members than sugary soft drinks.
This time is also good for new Chama meetings because you can invite your new members to lunch and continue your discussions informally. This timing is also great for establishing relationships.
Meetings after lunch
Most people are very agreeable when they have had a good lunch. They tend to listen longer to you and indulge you more. Keep in mind that meetings held too early in the afternoon may conflict with members’ lunch plans which could mean no shows or late comers. In a recent study conducted it was found that that majority Chama members accepted Saturday at 3PM meeting times. Mealtimes can also directly affect a meeting. Members are likely not as active directly after eating. By 3PM, their pre-lunch energy level has resumed.
Late afternoon meetings
If a hurried meeting where little time is wasted is what you want, then late afternoon might be a good time to plan the meeting as long as you stick to the agenda and the meeting ends on time. A meeting that drags on will get members irritated as this may make them late for personal plans.
Another thing to consider when holding a meeting is how long the meeting will be. Most Chama meetings may be one to two hours typically. However some meetings may require more time due to complexity of the issue to be discussed, urgency of the problem to solve. If a meeting is longer than an hour; a short break during the meeting should be planned.
Categorised in: chama constitution, chama management, Chama meetings, Chamas
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