Board Meeting Etiquette

In addition to the actual meeting, board meetings require a lot of preparation by a variety of people. Everyone involved should adhere to the proper manners for a board meeting to make these meetings as productive and efficient as is possible. This ensures that the discussion remains on topic and prevents people from losing time or distracting others.

It is crucial to avoid this by sending out the agenda, the report, and the talk points a few days prior to the meeting. This will allow members to go through all the necessary information and prepare their comments and questions in advance. Additionally, if members have real or possible conflicts of interest they know about it is a good practice to let the chair know in advance so that they can allow the member to state their conflict and require them to not vote.

Respecting the opinions and contributions of others is an additional aspect of ethics. Paying attention to other speakers and refraining from interrupting them even if you don’t agree with their opinion is a key part of this. Also, it means speaking clearly and only asking questions when needed. Also, it’s best to turn off or put on silent your cellphone during the meeting, and only take personal calls in a crisis.

This will allow others to focus and fully participate in the meeting. The last thing you want is for them to be distracted by your phone’s and worry whether your microphone has been turned off.

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