Tips for Conducting Board Meetings

During board meetings, top-tier leaders gather to discuss and debate the strategic issues facing their organizations. These discussions have a direct effect on the direction of the organization, from investor confidence to public opinion. This is why it’s crucial that board directors maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of their meetings. This article provides guidelines to conduct board meetings with the aim of fostering engaging and productive discussions.

Start by welcoming and introducing each board member especially if they’re new to the meeting. This sets the stage for a productive board meeting, establishes good boardroom etiquette, and encourages participation.

Begin and conclude the meeting at the right time, which is a sign of respect for other directors and deters tardiness. This is especially crucial when meetings are conducted through virtual methods, where time managing can be a challenge.

Avoid spending time on irrelevant or routine items such as committee reports and voting. Limit these topics to 25 percent of the time you meet and use the remaining time discussing strategies and other important topics.

Communicate clearly how decisions will taken at the meeting (consensus voting or a different method). This will ensure that all board members are aware the decision-making process and can participate in meaningful discussions.

Get feedback from members of the board on their level of satisfaction with the way in which your organization conducts its board meetings. You can do this by conducting informal discussions, or by using surveys and polling tools. For instance, you can inquire about whether the board’s meeting structure and content permit for deep discussion, or ask them to evaluate the different aspects of a meeting using a numbered scale.

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