Minimizing Board Meeting Mayhem


Having managed communities for over 25 years, you might imagine that we’ve seen good board meetings, bad ones and some in between. On the plus side, we’ve learned that the best meetings are conducted professionally, respectfully and efficiently which serves the entire community far better than allowing emotions to run high, overanalyzing important issues or forgetting that the board serves the entire community, as opposed to a few.  

Here are some techniques that we’ve found help engage others, limit intrusions and minimize distractions.

 · Table the discussion. If a conversation is getting heated, the motion can be made to table the discussion for a later date. This helps clear the air, allowing for a calmer, more meaningful conversation at the next meeting. It also sends the signal that debates will be conducted rationally and with respect.

 · Take it offline. When a topic goes off course, everyone’s time is wasted. A good to get the meeting back on track is an offer to continue the discussion privately. Saying, “Let’s take this offline so we can talk more,” is an easy way to get back on the subject without alienating the sidetracked speaker.

 · Use the agenda. The agenda can assist in moving the meeting along efficiently. Begin the meeting by saying, “We have a full agenda today,” which sets the stage for productivity. Refer to the agenda during the course of the meeting to keep everyone focused on the discussion.

 · Call on members. To engage more reticent members of the group and balance the impact of more vocal participants, it’s helpful to call on members by name to ask for their opinions. “What do you think, Mary?” or “Do you have some input here, Steve?” ensures that all members are valued and helps eliminate grand-standing.

Crest offers board member training every other month that is helpful to new and seasoned board members. Contact your management team to reserve a spot at the next session.