Being prepared is the foundation of a well-run meeting. An agenda and pre-meeting information should be sent to other Board members at least two days before the meeting is scheduled. When there are potentially controversial issues on the agenda, the leader can facilitate a more effective discussion when he or she knows the opinions of all the Board members.
Most Boards use Robert’s Rules of Order to guide their procedures. Whether you are an experienced leader of meetings or someone who is new to the Board, you’ll find that following Robert’s Rules help your meetings run more smoothly.
Focusing on the agenda items is the best way to keep the meeting moving forward. Even when items are clearly listed, people will stray from the topic. It’s human nature. Get the meeting back on track by saying, “We are getting off topic and need to get back to ABC.”
Cultivate a board culture of disciplined decision makers. When the Board comes to a decision, restate and summarize the discussion and final action. This helps to ensure that all members hear the same thing. Clarification at this point can prevent problems later. For projects that involve multiple people, it helps to specify who does what by when. Document all decisions and action items for future reference.
As the meeting winds down, ask for agenda items for the next meeting. When other Board members have an opportunity to help form the agenda, they are more likely to follow up on action items and participate in meetings.
Be reflective about your HOA Board meetings. Inquire as to what worked well and what could be better? Making continuous improvements will help your Board conduct more efficient, results-oriented meetings, and that’s a benefit to all members.