Board meeting etiquette is the set of rules that are not stated and protocols members follow to ensure that meetings are conducted in an effective manner. The proper manner of conducting meetings allows boards to operate at a level that allows them to fulfill their responsibilities, and encourages collaboration. The following guidelines are necessary for effective board meetings:

Respect others’ time by being punctual. Be prepared by studying the materials for the board prior to time. Avoid distractions like your mobile or emails, and close any unnecessary laptop windows unless it’s an emergency. During a discussion, avoid distractions or conversations that interrupt the speaker. Be attentive and ask questions as needed. If you’re not sure whether an issue is relevant to you, ask the speaker chair of the board for clarification.

If you are unable attend a meeting, you must forward the agenda and any reports that are available for discussion ahead of time to allow the board to examine the information and prepare for the meeting. This will help save time and let the discussion stay focussed on the topic to be discussed.

Be respectful of your fellow board directors even if you don’t agree with their viewpoint. Remember that the job of the board is to represent stakeholder and shareholder interests and make decisions which will help ensure the company’s growth.

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