Board meeting etiquette refers to the set of unspoken rules and protocols members of the board are expected to follow. These standards show respect to colleagues and allow meetings and other board work to continue in an efficient and effective manner.
Best practices for board meeting etiquette
Conforming to board meeting etiquette enables directors to keep meetings professional and productive. Here are the general guidelines to ensure that the members act professionally:
- Arriving on time
Being punctual shows that you have respect for everyone’s valuable time.
- Being prepared for the meeting
Prepare early for the meeting to encourage quality engagement with all the participants.
- Turning off notifications on mobile devices
Avoid placing your phone on the table and turn notifications off to eliminate distractions.
- Avoiding side conversations
Side conversations contribute to board biases, can be disruptive and are disrespectful to the speaker.
- Active listening
Listening actively promotes mutual respect and proper understanding of the board’s agenda.
- Refraining from interrupting
Interrupting someone who has the floor can negatively affect board efficiency and retention.
- Showing respect to colleagues
Show respect to your colleagues by listening to their feedback and giving everyone a chance to participate.
- Deferring to the chair
To resolve conflict, defer to the chair to adjudicate and ensure a harmonious boardroom.
Consequences of poor board meeting etiquette
Here are the negative outcomes of poor board meeting etiquette:
- Reduced productivity
If the participants are not punctual or don’t arrive prepared, it can significantly reduce the efficacy of the board.
- Impaired decision-making
Not giving everyone an equal chance to voice their opinions can introduce biases and render the decision-making process ineffective.
- Damaged relationships between directors
Failure to dedicate the necessary time and effort to the board can compromise the relationships between board directors.
- Creating a toxic atmosphere
The board members’ inability to show mutual respect can create an atmosphere of negativity.
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