Board meetings should be engaging and productive and focused on the goals and strategic direction of description the organization. By adhering to these best practices, boards can increase the effectiveness of their meetings and improve engagement while also improving efficiency, decision making, and governance.

Check for attendance

The opening of the board meeting by giving an overview of highlights from previous pre-meeting phone and/or in-person meetings, as and a review of the agenda at a high level will help to establish a positive mood for the remainder of the meeting. This will also ensure that a quorum of members is present to conduct business.

Deliberate in-depth on the essential items

Providing time for in-depth discussions is an essential element of a successful board meeting. However, overly long agendas can drown out participants with routine reports and “have to” items that detract from discussions of important and strategic issues.

Encourage participation by fostering a safe and respectful environment

Engaging discussions require a culture that encourages participation and respect for diverse opinions. This can be accomplished by encouraging all board members voice their opinions and avoid slandering people and encouraging an open dialog. This can be achieved through using board evaluations, facilitation techniques and encouraging constructive and informed discussion.

Define the procedure for making decisions to prevent confusion, disagreements and miscommunication. Determine if decisions are taken by consensus, majority vote, or some other method, and record the results accurately in the board’s minutes. Be clear on how you will deal with accountability and follow-up questions.