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Garden City Times Editor’s Note, June 2014

July 14, 2014

By Kathleen Orth

“If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into a committee — that will do them in.” ~Unknown

A camel looks like a horse that was planned by a committee.” ~Unknown

“A committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours.” ~Milton Berle

The many jokes about committees seem to reflect a lack of faith in committees as a means to achieve an end. Yet, there are many committees, in government, private business, non-profits, and social clubs. Many committees operate efficiently, and produce valuable results.

Are committees really so inefficient? The negative attitude towards committees may stem from inadequate training, poor listening skills, inability to communicate and negotiate, and poor leadership. Meetings, and committees, follow rules. Dr. Ralph Smedley, founder of Toastmasters, appreciated the utility of rules. He even wrote a biography of General Henry M. Robert, originator of Robert’s Rules of Order.

Toastmasters, through its Leadership Program, enables members to develop skills in organizing, delegating, and motivating. Opportunities to chair a committee or serve on a committee occur throughout the year. Speech contests, mentoring, and the executive committee require committee chairs and committee members at the club levels. Area, Division, District and International levels have their own committees.

Participating in committees enables members to build new skills in a supportive setting. Toastmasters, from the club level to the International level, offers examples of effective training and efficient committees – and that’s no joke!

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