By Greg Niemi . March 1, 2013

This blog is to GIVE to you completely free a few guidelines on how to get the most out of your board [meetings].  I have created just for you a code of conduct for your board’s etiquette.   

Gavel, Board of Directors, Best Behavior of Boards, Etiquette, Code of ConductYou may freely steal these guidlines and adopt as a starting point for you:

 To get the most out of board meetings we will:

 ·       Participate in board meetings enthusiastically.  We will exhibit, plus assume others also have, the most honorable of intentions & good faith.  We shall have a duty of loyalty, confidentiality and ethics to the company. 

·       Listen carefully.  Respect others unique views, perspective, skills and experience.  Provide everyone with opportunity to provide their input.

·       Freely share of our own experiences (when it is our time to share).  We will share with complete honesty, no bull, of what worked and what didn’t and why.

·       Use tact and display the highest of regard when provoking questions and making recommendations to management.

·       Look out for the greater good of the organization.  Subordinate all personal agendas.  We will remain silent or recuse our self when there is potential conflict of interest.

·       Do our homework ahead of time.  Arrive on time.  Return from breaks on time.  Keep meetings in the hallway to a minimum.

·       Take on assignments and complete those assignments by due date.

·       Silence cell phones

 To get the most out of board meetings we will not:

·       Dominate discussions by being the only one talking most of the time.

·       Wing it or experiment with our [unproven] ideas on others [golden rule].  Refrain from making recommendations when not qualified to do so.

·       Avoid being defensive when others may challenge our suggestions.  And we will not attack others perspective.  Be open to collaboration.

·       Do my part to help meeting track on time.  Support the chair and colleagues. We will not go off-road from agenda unless permission was requested to do so first.

·       Do not be a naysayer (or rubber stamping yay-sayers) all the time.

·       Do not get mired in details or tactics.  Leave the execution to management. 

·       Text, talk on cell or surf the net during meeting time

You may adopt and later modify as you see fit for your organization.  Then place these guidelines in the front of every board book or in the front of the room of every board meeting. 

At least once a year revisit or brainstorm with all board members involved to further improve behaviors to make your board meetings the most productive.

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