For most board members, meetings are a fact of life and over time board members obtain valuable experience on dealing with issues that arise. Part of this valuable experience is being adept at participating effectively and managing meetings. This experience is not only a useful skill in an association meeting, but in unrelated matters that everyone becomes involved during their life.
With this valuable experience of participating effectively and managing meetings, sometimes one or two meeting participants will dominate the discussion, steer it off topic and interrupt others, causing long, uncomfortable or unproductive meetings. Whether you’re the meeting chair or a participant, there are techniques you can use to help engage others, limit intrusions and minimize distractions.
When a chair begins a meeting by saying, “We have a full agenda today,” he or she sets the stage for productivity. Periodically referring to the agenda time schedule during the course of the meeting keeps all attendees focused on the discussion. If the chair doesn’t have an agenda, ask the group to pause a minute to create an informal agenda that simply lists the topics to be covered or goals to be accomplished.
Copyright – William Douglas Management, Inc. 2016