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Conducting board meetings is an obligation that requires attention to detail, careful pacing, and an awareness of the way in which board members’ time is being used. Board management software tools, such as portals, can aid in this regard by helping to prepare meeting materials and agendas ahead of time. This will increase the number of participants and let board members review decisions and directives in advance.

The first step is to clearly communicate the process of making decisions to the board. By clearly stating if your board will be using consensus, voting, or other methods to make decisions everyone will know what is expected at the meeting. It also helps prevent confusion, for instance, when a director raises an issue that’s already been addressed at a previous meeting.

After settling the old business, the board moves on to the next item. As with all discussions, it’s important to respect the rights of the other board members to speak. The chair should limit one director to speak at a given time. The chair of the board needs to lead the discussion by encouraging conversations and ensuring that the entire board is involved.

The board is then able to vote on any business item that is new and records the results in the official minutes of the meeting. If a board member is unhappy with the outcome of the vote, they are able to request that it be reconsidered. They can also request that the matter be referred to a committee for further investigation.

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