Board Meeting Etiquette

Board meeting protocol is a set unspoken rules that board members must adhere to in order to ensure the smooth running of meetings. Following proper etiquette allows boards to operate at a level that allows them to fulfill their duties, and promotes collaboration. These guidelines are vital for effective board meetings:

Be punctual to show respect for the time of others. Be prepared by reading the material for the board prior to time. Unless it is an emergency avoid distractions like your phone or email, and shut down any unnecessary laptop windows. During conversations, avoid side conversations and interrupting speakers. Pay attention and ask questions when appropriate. If you’re not sure whether an issue is pertinent to the subject, seek clarification from the speaker or the chair of the board.

If you are unable to attend the meeting in person, provide the board with the agenda and any reports that are to be discussed ahead of time so that they can review the information and get ready for the meeting. By submitting these documents prior the meeting saves time and allows for the discussion to be focussed on the topic at hand.

Respect your fellow board members even if they don’t agree with your views. Remember that the role of the board is to represent stakeholder and shareholder interests and make decisions that will support the company’s success.

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