Tips for Conducting Board Meetings

At board meetings, top leaders meet to discuss and debate the strategic issues that face their organisations. The results of these discussions determine the organization’s direction and impact everything from confidence in investors to public perception. That’s why it’s essential for directors of boards to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their meetings. This article gives suggestions on how to conduct board meetings in a way that encourages lively and productive discussions.

Start by welcoming and introducing every board member particularly if they’re new to the meeting. This will help establish a collaborative boardroom as well as encourage participation. It will also ensure that the boardroom is a good place to be.

Begin and end the meeting in a timely manner, as it shows respect for the other directors and discourages tardiness. This is particularly important when meeting through virtual methods, where time management can be a challenge.

Do not waste time on trite or routine items such as committee reports and voting. Limit these topics to 25 percent of the time you meet and spend the rest of the time discussing strategies and other important subjects.

Be clear about how decisions will be made at the time of the meeting (consensus or voting, or some other method). This ensures that all board members are aware the decision-making process and participate in meaningful discussions.

Obtain feedback from board members on their level of satisfaction with how your organization conducts its board meetings. This can be done via informal discussions or by giving out surveys and polling tools. For instance whether the structure of the board and content encourages a lively discussion. Or you could ask them to rate meeting qualities on a number scale.

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