To follow on from my last post, another useful skill I’ve had to learn is what I loosely call ‘committee clerking’. I’ve worked (as in paid work) as a committee clerk in several organisations, including the British Medical Association (eons ago) and in local government, at various different levels. At the current time, I’m (voluntary) secretary to my church’s PCC. Btw, the committee clerk is the person who prepares the agenda and writes the minutes. In the old pre-computer days (BMA/local government), committee clerks could be boys or girls and definitely did not type. (One of my bosses used to get very upperty when councillors assumed that every typing error was hers. She also refused to pour out the tea… another story!) These are the skills I have picked up:
- To jolly people along to produce what you want them to produce at the right time.
- To edit what self-same people do produce without upsetting them.
- To guide people actually to make a decision.
- To know when something is illegal or unethical or against internal rules and to tell your members so.
- To keep listening so as to be able to record decisions, and not to be touchy when somebody challenges what I’ve written.
I’m sure the same skills are required in many other occupations but this is how I came about them. They have also been useful to me in writing and in my role as Competitions Manager for the Association of Christian Writers. This provides a lead-in for the imminent launch of the next ACW competition, this time for crime fiction. More details – shortly – on the ACW website (but don’t look yet).
I’ve managed – at last – to review another book on my companion blog, Dear Reader – The Jazz Files by Fiona Veitch Smith. Do take a look. T