4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Next Board Meeting

Board meetings: If the phrase makes you groan, you’re probably doing it wrong.

While no one enjoys meetings for the sake of meeting, there are ways to make sure your association board meetings are efficient, productive and even enjoyable. Here are four tips to make the most of your next board meeting.

  1. Prepare. This may seem like a no-brainer, but many board members will confess that they don’t read board packet materials in advance. While it can be hard to find the time, it’s critical that you review information and come ready to discuss the topic at hand. Not doing so means that more time will be spent in the meeting covering what has already been communicated, which is not a productive use of the full board’s time. Worse, it may impede discussions and decisions about pressing issues affecting your membership.
  2. Watch the clock. When preparing your board agenda, allocate appropriate time for each discussion point. Don’t let what should be a quick 15-minute conversation drag on for an hour. Time is valuable, so make sure you are giving each topic the appropriate amount of time–no more and no less.
  3. Stay out of the weeds. The board’s role is to determine appropriate strategies and oversight for the association’s functions. Logistics, tactics and resources can be determined later by staff. Stay out of the weeds and keep discussions high-level so that the board can remain effective and productive.
  4. Evaluate. Following each meeting, send out a brief survey asking if board members felt that their time was productive and impactful.

Serving on a board is a significant commitment of time, talent and resources. Keeping the tips above in mind will help ensure that you and your fellow board members have a positive experience and effectively serve your membership.