If you’re like many board members, one of your most challenging jobs is running your condominium corporation’s board meetings. Keeping everyone on task and addressing board member disagreements is not always easy. So what can you do to manage your meetings more effectively?
No need to fret! In this article, we’ve provided five steps you can follow to have more productive meetings. Fill out the form below to download our complimentary infographic, “Six Principles for a Better Board Meeting,” which offers even more tips.
1) Stick to your agenda.
The best way to ensure that discussions stay on track is to create an agenda – and to follow it. An agenda serves as a reminder of your objectives and enables you to steer tangential conversations back to the business at hand. Have your property manager in attendance at as many meetings as possible to help you keep discussions more focused.
2) Follow Robert’s Rules of Order.
Meetings will run more smoothly if you follow a formal procedure. That’s where Robert’s Rules of Order comes in. This commonly used guide details parliamentary procedures for meetings. Your governing documents should also include guidelines for running meetings, including information about voting, quorums, agendas and the need to call a meeting to order.
3) Specify action items, and assign responsibility.
Discussions should lead to specific action items with board members assigned to handle those that are their responsibilities. It’s a good idea to restate each action item and its assigned board member at the end of your meeting so that important tasks get addressed.
4) Avoid typical time wasters.
Endless meetings are no fun for anyone, so try to limit board meetings to 60 – 90 minutes maximum. If an enthusiastic board member attempts to remain on a topic beyond an appropriate amount of time, ask for specific action items and assign them to board members right then and there. Remind the enthusiast that these action items will be addressed at the next board meeting and that the minutes will ensure that there is a record of it.
5) Remain neutral amid disagreements.
It’s generally healthy for board members to express a range of opinions. However, your board meeting can quickly deteriorate if disagreements become too heated. Stay out of the fray by remaining neutral. Look for common ground, and if you are working with a property management company, turn to your manager for assistance. Their experience with a variety of boards can be a real asset in such situations.
By following these simple steps, your meetings will be more productive, and that’s something that will benefit everyone in your condominium corporation.