Meeting Set-Up

  • Sufficient chairs? Board member name plates visible?
  • Certify posting of the meeting and check for quorum.
  • Ensure audio recording is on and minutes are being taken.

Conducting the Meeting

  • Remember to follow the agenda.
  • Why?
    • The agenda is your road map.
    • The agenda clarifies the objectives of the meeting.
    • The agenda provides focus for participants.
    • The agenda ensures time is used effectively. If necessary, group similar agenda items together.
    • The agenda helps keep people on topic. Recognize when people get sidetracked.

Tips for a Productive Meeting

  • Establish and adhere to ground rules (visual reminder?).
  • Use the “ideas bin” and review ideas at end of meeting.
  • Chairs should be facilitative leaders who:
    • Encourage participation.
    • Share reasons and feelings for statements.
    • Test assumptions.
    • Model effective group behavior.
  • Understand the difference between gathering comments and seeking agreement.
  • Know the difference between chairing versus facilitating.
Tips to Prevent Dysfunctional Meetings
Situation Possible Solution
An agenda item may be potentially controversial in the community. Place the agenda item in the early part of the meeting. Review the objective of the agenda item. Share parameters and roles of the board members. Use a structured process for community input. Set time limits for speakers and minimize repetition.
People become emotional. Sometimes they make personal verbal attacks. Use your ground rules, stop people, and rephrase comments to focus on the agenda item. Use “I” statements, rather than “you” statements. Take a “time out” if needed.
Only the extroverts or the dominant personalities do most of the talking. Use round robins, get the silent ones involved, and ask each board member their opinion. Ask open-ended questions to test assumptions.
People argue their side to convince others they are right. No one listens. Paraphrase what is said in response to their point. Connect the point to the agenda item, use probing questions, acknowledge the comment and move on.
Board members hold frequent side conversations to discuss what they are thinking. Refer to the ground rules. Bring side chatter back to the general conversation so everyone can hear what they are thinking. Use ideas bin.
Conversation goes nowhere. People get frustrated. Set a time limit for sensitive agenda items. Summarize comments, link related ideas together, and seek closure for the agenda item objective.
Board members or meeting participants don’t notice they’ve gotten sidetracked and are discussing a non-agenda item. Use the bin, record the off issue in the bin, and bring the idea(s) back to the original point related to the agenda item.
Rebori, M. 2007, Citizen Advisory Board Officer’s Meeting “Tickler”, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, Sp-07-19

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Also of Interest:

Camp Advisory Meeting Agenda (2020-07-07)
Nevada State 4-H Camp Advisory Council AGENDA July 7, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. Nevada State 4-H Camp 1 4-H Road, Stateline NV 89449
Stark, C 2020, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, Proceedings