January 18, 2014   by

For some of us, a boring meeting is one of the most dreaded aspects of the Chama. A boring meeting leads to detachment by members, and they will not participate as much as they would if they were enjoying the meeting. Whilst others look for excuses to skip the meetings. It’s beneficial to inject some fun into the typical routine activities of a Chama meeting.  Here’s how.

Start on a bright note
Start the meeting with a guest speaker or a funny story. This will engage the members from the beginning, and you can use the speaker or story to introduce the topic of the meeting.

Plan group activities
A group activity can be fun and help members bond and learn more about each other. It will also command their involvement in the meeting. For example, if your Chama is relatively new or you have new members, you can use icebreaker activities to help the members learn about each other. If the meeting is focused on teamwork, you could perform a teamwork activity such as having one person read the directions to put a puzzle together while the rest of the team attempts to assemble the puzzle.

Social time
Plan a social time in the meeting if it is very long or intense. This breaks up the meeting and allows the members to bond. You may also schedule this at the beginning of the gathering to help ease members into the meeting. This can be perhaps a short of about 10 – 15 minutes where members can take a breather and bond with each other.

Vary meeting style
Vary the style of the meeting to keep it interesting. Members can give presentations, engage in discussions or watch a video. New approaches will keep the meeting from becoming monotonous and boring.
Keep it light
Don’t try to get everyone into overly technical decisions in Chama matters. These are for you to handle yourself, or delegate. Stay away from a lot of unnecessary information at meetings, and definitely stay away from personal economics, religion and politics.
Set the tone
As the leader of the meeting you set the tone and model the desired behavior.  The leader needs to show each participant that they are being listened to and respected. A warm genuine approach will facilitate cooperation and collaboration.

The food factor
Sometimes, invite members over to your house and set out food on the meeting table. If members know there will be something to eat before the meeting, they will be more excited about coming to the meeting. You can give the meeting a theme and plan the refreshments around the theme, such as a tea-party theme.  Or, you can coordinate the food to the time of day. If you have a morning Chama meeting, bring doughnuts or mandazis. Try to be considerate of those on your staff with allergies. Food can even be the responsibility of the staff if they are eager to try it. A schedule can be made and two people each week or month can choose and bring the food.


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