Board Meeting Etiquette

Board meeting etiquette is the set of rules that are not stated and guidelines that members adhere to ensure that meetings are conducted in an effective manner. By following the proper protocol, boards are able to function at a level that is necessary to fulfill their duties, and promotes collaboration. The following guidelines are essential for effective board meetings:

Respect for the time of others. Prepare yourself by reading the materials for the board prior to the time. Do not be distracted by your phone or emails, and close unnecessary laptop windows unless there is an emergency. When you are having a discussion, avoid interruptions and conversations that distract the speaker. Listen actively and ask questions if appropriate. If you’re not sure whether the topic is pertinent to the topic, get clarification from the speaker or chairperson of the board.

If you can’t attend the meeting in person, send the board the agenda and any reports being discussed well ahead of time so that they can look over the information and get ready for the meeting. This will cut down on time and allow the discussion to remain focussed on the topic at hand.

Respect your fellow board members even if they don’t agree with your views. It is important to keep in mind that the board’s job is to represent shareholder and stakeholder interests and make decisions that are in support of the business’s success.

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