A well-run meeting of your board of directors will help you to make ethical and informed decisions. The board needs to be able to read documents, participate in discussions and come to a consensus on complex issues. Documentation is essential to allow future reference and also to ensure compliance. The process may be difficult to navigate, but it is important that the board makes the most of their time and resources.

Board meetings can be thrilling as well as exhausting all at once. Avoid these common mistakes to make sure that meetings productive.

1. Re-reading of discussion points arising from previous meetings

Reliving the discussions from the last board meeting will take up time, and will distract you from the most important agenda items. Getting sidetracked by new topics for discussion will prevent you from reaching your goals for the meeting. If you’re forced to talk about the topic that was not originally on the agenda, have the group agree to bring it to the end of the meeting with the promise to reevaluate and revisit whether the subject should be studied further or added to the following agenda or assigned as an item to be discussed later.

2. Sharing too many Full Report details

Board members should be well-informed. However, the board’s package must be designed in a way that allows for constructive discussion and stimulate questions, not serve as a comprehensive exposition of every bit of information that is available for board consideration. It could be a sign that the board is playing the role of a pre-school teacher but it lets them focus on the important decisions.

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