Develop and build on the skills you already have

Kirsty Semple, CSP head of governance, explains why you may have just what it takes to be a council member

Kirsty Semple, CSP head of governance
Kirsty Semple, CSP head of governance

You may have read about the forthcoming elections for CSP Council and thought that whilst it would be something that you would love to do, you don’t have the experience or knowledge that it needs. If so – think again. You may already have the necessary skills, without realising it.   

When we look at what makes someone an effective council member the key thing to remember is that knowledge is not everything – that can be learnt.  What matters much more is how someone will approach the work. 

So, before you rule yourself out, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you willing and able to prepare for and participate in meetings? Do you have the time, and energy to read the papers in advance and prepare questions and comments to raise?
  • Are you someone who is always striving to understand more, and not afraid to be open about this. Even if you do not have a full understanding now, are you willing to learn? Do you feel comfortable speaking up and asking for explanations when you do not understand something?
  • Do you work well as a part of a team? Are you supportive but willing to express your own opinion? Better decisions are made when there are different perspectives brought to the table. Also, whilst you will need to ask powerful questions, are you also good at listening, and willing to be persuaded?
  • Finally – are you someone who does not shy away from decision-making? Discussion and debate is good, but at the end of the day council needs to take decisions in a logical and consistent way. Think about your own experiences of taking part in a debate or discussion and then taking a collective decision. Did you enjoy it?

It doesn’t matter how you developed these skills, but if this describes you, council could be the ideal way for you to develop them further.

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