There are few complaints I hear more from volunteers than those regarding poorly run meetings. REALTORS® share their precious time when they volunteer. They want that time to be productive, so when board or committee meetings get derailed, or run over time, or fail to accomplish their objectives, it’s frustrating for everyone.
Associations can dial down the frustration level by implementing meeting ground rules. These are rules or guidelines that the group agrees to abide by for every meeting.
Ground rules are especially important to the meeting chair. He or she uses these to help keep order, keep the group focused, reduce personal attacks and achieve better decisions.
But participants are the ones who really benefit. When you attend a meeting where ground rules are in place and followed, it’s a bit like paradise. People are listening to others, keeping an open mind, being respectful, contributing and staying on track. And meetings end on time and with positive results.
Now I’m not saying that meeting ground rules solve all meeting problems, but they do work very effectively to keep meeting attendees performing at their peak.
The chair can create the rules for their meetings, however, it’s better to involve the group in developing these rules. That’s especially true when meetings will be ongoing, such as board or committee meetings.
Here’s a sample to get you started.
Come prepared having reviewed your materials
Call ahead with technical or clarifying questions
Arrive on time & stay to the end
Listen to others without interrupting
Show courtesy & respect – no side discussions
Respect the time allocated to agenda items
Listen to all facts without preconceived opinions
Speak only when recognized by the chair
Everyone speaks once before others speak again
Don’t repeat what has already been said
Don’t feel you have to speak to an item
Disagree with ideas, not people