Board Meeting Etiquette

Board meeting etiquette refers to the set of unspoken rules 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 fulfil their roles and fosters cooperation. The following guidelines are essential for an effective board meeting:

Be punctual to show respect for others’ time. Prepare yourself by reading the materials for the board prior to time. Avoid distractions like your phone or emails, and close any unnecessary laptop windows unless it’s an emergency. During a conversation, avoid interruptions and conversations that distract the speaker. Listen actively and ask questions when necessary. If you are unsure if something is relevant to the topic, get clarification from the speaker or chair of the board.

If you cannot attend the meeting in person, provide the board with the agenda and any reports that are up for discussion well ahead of time so that they can review the information and get ready for the meeting. This will cut down on time and allow the discussion to stay focused on the subject to be discussed.

Respect your fellow board members even if they don’t agree with your views. Remember that the job of the board is to represent stakeholder and shareholder interests and make decisions that support the company’s success.