The etiquette of a board meeting is the set of rules that are not stated and guidelines that members adhere to ensure that meetings are conducted in an effective manner. A proper manner of conduct helps boards operate at the appropriate level to fulfill their duties and fosters cooperation. Following these guidelines is essential for a successful board meeting:

Respect the time of others by being punctual. Prepare yourself by reading the materials for the board prior to time. Avoid distractions like your mobile www.boardroomother.com/10-tips-for-mastering-nonprofit-governance or emails, and close any unnecessary laptop windows unless it’s an emergency. During a discussion, avoid interruptions to the speaker. Be attentive and ask questions when necessary. If you aren’t sure if a point is relevant to the topic, seek clarification from the speaker or chair of the board.

If you can’t attend a meeting in person, send the board the agenda and any reports that are to be discussed ahead of time so that they can go over the information and get ready for the meeting. This will cut down on time and allow the discussion to stay focused on the issue that is at hand.

Be respectful of fellow board directors regardless of whether you agree with their viewpoint. Remember that the board’s role is to represent stakeholder and shareholder interests and make decisions that will support the company’s success.

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