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Effective Meetings: Effective Meetings


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Effective Meetings

Regular board meetings and committee meetings are where most of the board's work is done. What you do in meetings can make the difference between an effective and an ineffective board. Poor meetings can alienate staff, damage the board team, waste your time and the time of the other board members, cause turmoil in the community, and actually hamper the operation of the library.

Careful preparation is the key to meetings that produce results. Here are a few guidelines for planning and conducting an effective meeting:

  • Decide what is to be accomplished
  • Define the purpose in clear terms
  • Develop a written agenda
  • Begin on time, and end on time

You can expect the board chairperson to run the meetings and keep the board moving toward good decisions. However, it is no less each board member’s responsibility to:

  • Attend all meetings
  • Prepare well for meetings
  • Take part in all discussions
  • Cooperate with fellow board members to make meetings work
  • Adhere to parliamentary law and to relevant state laws
  • Learn traditional meeting practices of your board and follow them
  • Practice the art of compromise with other members of the team
  • Practice the art of listening and merging your ideas with those of the others
  • Work toward consensus on issues
  • Focus all deliberations on the best interests of library users
  • Publicly support the board decisions