Like it or not, calling, attending and facilitating board meetings is an important part of running a business. Most people don’t enjoy being a part of company meetings. However, everyone understands that without them, a business will fail. Board meetings are vital for communication, teamwork, progress, and success.
It’s probable that in your career, you have attended one or more ineffective board meetings. According to one survey of executives, 67% of meetings are unproductive and can be considered failures. There are many reasons for this, and almost all are reparable.
Ineffective, Unproductive Board Meetings
There are many reasons that many employees feel that board meetings are a detriment, time suckers and a painful part of their workday.
Sometimes, leadership is weak. In others, there is an obvious lack of preparation or direction. In still other cases, board meetings can be ineffective because of too much cross-talk, disagreement or straight-up hostility among participants.
Ineffective and unproductive meetings waste everyone’s time and are not helpful to the health of the business. They can break employees’ spirits and if they become a regular event, they can be the death of your entire company.
Fortunately, there are strategies that can be applied in any industry to ensure more effective board meetings. Sometimes facilitators need to learn how to run a board meeting properly to achieve success in this realm. Many businessmen and women possess advanced degrees in business but were never taught how to conduct a board meeting effectively.
Once company meetings are conducted with direction and purpose, employees will leave these meetings inspired and encouraged rather than bored and drained. Effective meetings breathe life into the company; they don’t suck the life out of it.
Read on to learn about the ways you can make board meetings at your company more useful and effective. Apply these tips to create meaningful experiences for your management and staff. A well-organized and led meeting will leave everyone fired up and ready to attack the tasks at hand.
How to Conduct a Board Meeting Effectively
The best board meetings are well-planned for before they even begin. In fact, there should be more time spent planning for a productive meeting than is spent actually meeting, but also be careful not to spend too much time over-preparing, too.
During the meeting, there should be a preconceived order to things through the use of a carefully cultivated agenda. Staying on task is vital if you want your meeting to reach the goals planned for it.
Read on to learn some great tips for effective meetings. Keep each of these in mind when planning, conducting and reflecting upon your next meeting, and already you and your team are ahead of the curve.
Plan a Solid Agenda and Stick to It
A pre-planned agenda is perhaps the most important piece of the puzzle in any board meeting. Meeting participants need to know in advance the topics being covered in the meeting and the goals that leadership has for it.
Sending out an agenda before a meeting allows participants to prepare for it and will help with productivity. Also, an agenda that is sent out before a meeting will encourage participants to add things to it they feel are important. If the topics they wish to cover don’t fit with the meeting them, they will also know that they may need to save some of their ideas for a different meeting.
Keep Meetings on Time and Keep Track of Time
Everyone’s time is valuable. It’s important to begin and end meetings on time. Even if some participants are late, it is vital that meetings begin on time. This will help to send a message that will encourage all to be on time.
An average meeting runs anywhere from thirty-one to sixty minutes. If your meetings are often going beyond this length, it’s possible that they are too long.
Attention spans are limited, even in the business world, so consider having several shorter meetings instead of one long one.
To ensure that all participants show up on time and know where the meeting is held, consider incorporating conference room scheduling software. Using this technology will keep employees prompt with no possible excuses.
Use Proper Board Meeting Language and Procedure.
Are you familiar with parliamentary procedure, also known as Robert’s Rules of Order? If not, learning about these things will improve your company’s meetings. These “rules” were developed and published in 1876 by Henry M. Robert with one goal in mind: to run effective, fair, and orderly meetings in which all present could participate.
These rules are still in use today.
Although all meetings have a leader, meetings following parliamentary procedure give everyone the chance to speak and take part. They also formalize the entire meeting process and clarify that business is being done.
You may be at least somewhat familiar with Robert’s Rules of Order already. Phrases like “call to order,” “main motion,” “recess,” and “postponement” used in a meeting are part of it. These actions organize the meeting process and can help you and your team make great progress in a short time.
It may take a while to make parliamentary procedure feel natural in your business, but once you and your employees get the hang of it, much can be accomplished.
Choose an Effective Meeting Space
In order for a board meeting to go well, you need the correct space for it. Make sure all participants can be seated, see one another, and hear well. A table is best for most meetings. Lighting needs to also be considered, and the area should be free from cross-traffic and other interruptions.
A Meeting is Not a Social Engagement
If the employees at your company get along well and consider themselves to be friends, that’s great. However, a meeting is not a time for socializing. If participants want to socialize, they need to do it on their own time.
The point of a meeting is to successfully discuss progress and plans that will lead to the completion of team, company and organizational goals. Although it is tempting to catch up on everyone’s personal lives when the whole group is together, this is not an effective use of company time.
If you stick to your meeting agenda, there will be no time for this sort of thing. Instead, you can all work together to focus on the written goals of the meeting.
Many people lament the number of board meetings they must attend. However, the reason people dislike them is often because they feel that they are a waste of their time. If your company moves to make meetings more effective, more people will begin to see their value, and they will enjoy them more.
Consider the above tips to make your company’s meetings more effective, more productive, and more enjoyable overall. Good luck. Sign up for business classes by visiting Training Connection and improve the business skills needed increase efficiency and productivity in the workplace.