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There are a myriad of rules that govern the world of board meetings. It is beneficial, as it will ensure that the discussions are fair and productive. However, the number of rules could become overwhelming, especially for the new chair, or even the experienced one. In this article, we take a look at seven of the most important rules of board meetings that are vital to achieve constructive dialogue and positive results.

Rule 1 Rule 1: The order of precedence has to be observed.

The chairman of the board should make sure that the discussion is kept focused on the issues on the agenda. It is the responsibility of every member to listen and be respectful of the opinions of other members. To speak members must indicate to the chairperson by raising their hands or standing up. The chairperson will then allow the participant to express their opinion. The chairperson should also adhere to Robert’s Rules of Order in deciding which types of motions should have more importance and which methods to use for recognition (i.e. raising your hand or asking permission).

Rule 2: Only one subject is discussed at the same time.

Distracted by new issues, board meetings will consume time and divert attention from the most important issues. To prevent this from happening, the board leader can include the word “parking lot” at the end of the agenda. This is where they can present topics that are worthy, but not top-priority. The board member can promise to revisit the parking lot and assess whether these subjects should be included on the agenda for the next meeting, moved to another meeting, or assigned as the task.