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Seven Tips for Successful Board Meetings

09/15/2016 Lauren Kreutzinger

What is the most enjoyable aspect of being a board member?

Building new relationships and doing something good.

How about the least enjoyable?

Ineffective board meetings.

The following steps will help to ensure that your meetings are constructive and your board members are productive.

  1. Select a strong leader. Strong leadership skills and long-term vision by the chair are essential to achieve effective board meetings and to build a strong, cohesive board. 
  2. Prepare an agenda. Make sure that everyone knows what you hope to accomplish at the meeting. Distribute the agenda and other reading materials in advance so that board members can come prepared. 
  3. Set up the meeting room. The meeting table should be set up for maximum interaction. Greet members warmly upon arrival, and be sure to introduce and welcome new members or other attendees. 
  4. Keep the meeting on track. Don’t discourage debate, but make sure it doesn’t get out of hand. Discussions – even heated ones –sometimes bring important facts to light. But no one should feel intimidated or ridiculed for an opinion. 
  5. Encourage participation. Invite questions and alternative solutions to problems. 
  6. Recap and clarify. Repeat important points discussed in the meeting and clarify what will be done, when and by whom. Mail meeting minutes to all board members in a timely fashion. 
  7. Thank members profusely. Board members should be thanked – of course – for their monetary contributions and fund-raising efforts but also should be recognized for their donations of time and expertise. A little appreciation goes a long way.

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