Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 45
BY BOB HARRIS, CAE AND
How can you avoid a boardroom
meltdown - when voices are raised,
fingers pointed or directors leave mad?
The board meeting is a setting that
brings together diverse volunteers for the
purpose of governance. Discussions can
be passionate and frustrating, and the
environment unique to new directors.
Observe boardroom courtesy to enable
a more effective governing process.
RSVP-The purpose of an RSVP is
to ensure a quorum will be present to
conduct business, to be certain sufficient
seating and documents are available and
to prepare or provide an accurate count for
food and beverage.
Prepare-Nothing is more frustrating
to board and staff than to have a director
arrive who reads the agenda or opens the
packet for the first time at the board table.
Preparation should start upon notice of the
meeting and receipt of the agenda.
Brevity-Make points succinctly. Read
the micro cues of directors to determine
if the message has been understood or
it included TMI-too much information.
Remember that brief is better and
appreciated in most instances.
Digital distractions-Turn off cell
phones and other communication tools, or
set them on vibrate. Unless it is a personal
emergency, a director should not bolt from
the room upon receiving a call. Remember
board meetings are confidential-don't be
texting information to outsiders.
Devil's advocate-Some directors
feel like they are responsible for playing
the role of the "devil's advocate." They
are not shy about announcing it. The
underlying reasons for the approach
should not be to make another director
look bad, provoke, or prove them wrong.
are responsible for governance. Do not
wander into the realm of management,
which is a staff responsibility. An
organizational chart depicts lines
of communication and hierarchy.
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