It’s an unfortunate truth that many board members dread meetings. Some meetings drag on and on, feel like a waste of time with zero accomplished, or are too exhausting because individuals just keep arguing with each other. However, eliminating meetings altogether is not the solution. Meetings are a necessary function of any association, and can be a very effective way to discuss important matters and create action plans. It’s all about running the meetings the right way.
Take advantage of these pointers to help board meetings run smoothly, and even drive members to look forward to attending.
Preparation is Key
Preparing ahead of time is the most important thing an HOA board member can do. Preparation helps the meeting move along efficiently and assists in making reasonable business decisions.
The Board president and HOA manager must work together to create an agenda that is posted ahead of time. HOA board members should receive a packet of the meeting about week ahead of time, clarifying what will be discussed.
Thoroughly read the board packet and look over the agenda. Consider going to check out a place on the association property to see what the agenda is referring to, such as a hole in the clubhouse roof. You may even want to call the HOA manager beforehand to ask questions and understand an issue up for discussion, in order to prevent the meeting from being driven off course by comprehension questions.
Begin the meeting by opening up the floor for comments. Open comments can be about any issue or concern a homeowner may have. It doesn’t have to be on the agenda. However, the HOA board can choose to note the comments and not engage in a discussion if they feel that it wouldn’t be protective.
No action should be taken if it’s not on the agenda. The board should welcome some input for consideration. This will help diffuse potential threats or people who plan on sticking to their own agenda.
The Chairperson should make it clear it’s an HOA board meeting and not a member meeting. Members can listen in to the entire meeting, but cannot give input except during the time for open comments.
Effective and Respectful Conversation
The Chairperson must move things along in an efficient manner, but also ensure that everyone is respecting one another. Always encourage effective and respectful conversation throughout the entire meeting. The goal is to come to a decision quickly by leaving emotion out, avoiding rabbit trails, and making a clear cut decision.
Within social gatherings there will always be those who want to talk and socialize. It is the responsibility of the chairperson to provide friendly and strong direction. Encourage support for one another and for the decision that was voted on.
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