One of the most common problems community association boards face is difficulty conducting an efficient board meeting. Many board meetings are plagued by disorganization, bickering and other time-wasting habits. This unpleasantness can be lessened, and even eliminated, by the adoption of a fair and uniform meeting protocol. According to Joshua D. Krut, a Partner at Weiss Serota Helfman Pastoriza Cole & Boniske, who chairs the firm’s Community Association, Club and Resort Group, a few simple tweaks in procedure can have even the most combative boards functioning properly.
All well-run and efficient board meetings begin with an organized agenda. By specifically identifying and prioritizing all items to be discussed, board members obtain a better understanding of what the purpose of the meeting actually is, and are less likely to veer off topic.
Adopting a uniform parliamentary procedure is equally important. Adherence to a standard procedure ensures that each board member has an opportunity to be heard without leading to chaotic exchanges. Established standard procedures allow board members to conduct meetings in a professional manner, reduce interruptions and create less conflict than would likely arise in a free-form meeting.
Another important factor in conducting an effective board meeting is promoting professional conduct and courtesy. By promoting a respectful dialogue between members, the board can minimize tension when discussing divisive issues.
Finally, it is paramount that board members remember what can and cannot be discussed at open board meetings. Certain matters, such as current and pending litigation or discussions about association employees should not take place at open board meetings.
By adopting these rules and applying them fairly and consistently, board members can run efficient meetings.
Josh Krut is a Partner at WSH. In addition to his work in our Community Associations, Resort and Club Practice Area, Josh has an extensive real estate background, and works with our Real Estate Group.