Are you about to run a board meeting or a bored-meeting?
Do you crave awesome board meetings that lead to progress and results without the threat of office politics harming the outcomes? If so, you need to read this immediately.
Every Director or Business Leader typically wants awesome meetings that lead to progress and results, but typically that means also dealing with the pain of worrying about one or more of these three fears:
- Attendees will carry negative baggage into the meeting
- People won’t interact constructively
- Won’t be able to control the meeting
If you’re about to run a board meeting and have any of these fears, don’t worry we’ve got you covered.
Worry #1: Attendees will carry negative baggage into the board meeting
The board meeting isn’t supposed to be a mutual back-patting session, and you will want to encourage team members to speak up about any concerns that they have. Likewise, you’ll want them to scrutinise ideas before the company commits to them. Nonetheless, there’s nothing worse than listening to an employee or partner that vocally rejects every idea despite never having any constructive additions of their own.
This negativity could occur because the person wants to cause trouble, is unsatisfied with their own career, or uses this opportunity to relieve stress from other aspects of their life. With this in mind, trying to put this attendee in a positive mood ahead of the meeting can be a particularly smart move. A simple pep talk or compliment on their work can put them in a positive frame of mind, reducing the likelihood of unnecessary negativity.
One of the most important things to do if those situations do occur is to confront the negative individual. Respond by asking them to elaborate by adding a proper reason. Something along the lines of “that’s an interesting point of view, what brings you to that conclusion?” can work wonders. Similarly, seeking their alternative solutions will have a positive impact as they will either provide something constructive or learn not to object to all ideas unless they have a valid reason.
If the attendee continues to bring negative baggage into the meeting without actively supporting the company’s progress, you may wish to stop inviting them to the meetings altogether. After all, their negative impact is wasting everyone’s time, could prevent good ideas from progressing beyond the boardroom, and discourage other attendees from bringing ideas to the table. Through a combination of promoting a positive atmosphere from the troublesome individuals and actively questioning their negative opinions, the rest of the team can achieve greater things.
Worry #2: People won’t interact constructively
When bringing multiple employees and partners from different departments (or even different buildings) together, some animosity is inevitable. If you’re not careful, the negativity caused by personal or interdepartmental disagreements can cause serious distractions while also reducing the rate of productivity.
If the negativity is caused due to poor relationships, there are several options at your disposal. Keeping those problems outside of the boardroom can be achieved with the following ideas:
- Pay greater attention to workplace bullying and animosity. Speak to both parties about the situation and don’t be afraid to use disciplinary action.
- Do not invite the negative individuals into the boardroom meeting. After all, you can always keep them updated by emailing the minutes from the meeting.
- Invest in team morale through away days, group perks, and other tactics that are designed to unite the team.
However, workplace politics isn’t the only reason for a lack of interaction. Individuals simply might not engage with the meetings. This could be due to previous failings, a lack of focus during meetings, or feelings of not being valued. Improved preparations are the solution. Try to shorten your team meetings while also keeping focus on a very small number of features. Trying to squeeze too much into one meeting can make it tedious while diluting the quality of ideas.
When the team is focused on finding a solution to one or two problems, the chances of leaving the meeting with an idea that will actually enhance the business becomes far greater. Moreover, the streamlined approach prevents the meetings from descending into nonsense. When attendees can see that the board meetings actively make a difference to the company, their involvement will inevitably improve. Take this one step further by praising members for good ideas or high engagement levels to ensure that the positivity remains for years to come.
Worry #3: Won’t be able to control the board meeting
Fears revolving a lack of control in the boardroom is very common and completely rational. It’s not even a worry about arguments or aggression within the boardroom, but rather a concern that the meeting will be a waste of time due to being unable to keep the meeting on topic. While the above tips regarding length and direction will help, you also need to invest in your leadership. You set the tone of the entire meeting, which is why your communication and authority must be at the highest possible standard.
Taking a business leadership course can be a great investment for future endeavours in, and indeed outside, the boardroom. Developing your leadership should help you keep the meeting on task while also improving your ability to listen, dissect information, remove any dead air, and keep attendees interested. In turn, this will ensure that all future board meetings follow a smooth pathway to the desired outcome.
Organisational aspects are crucial for the board meeting and should start long before the main event. Sending meeting agendas in advance allows attendees to prepare what they want to say. Meanwhile, you should set specific goals for the meeting and double check that only the necessary team members are invited. Otherwise, you may find that you’ll waste the time of the people that need to be in the meeting as well as those that don’t.
Timing is everything during the meeting, so be sure to use a planned approach to time management. Time-box each aspect of the meeting to ensure that you get through all necessary elements in the allocated time slots. As for controlling the meetings themselves, you must not be afraid to cut people off. Just be sure to do this in a constructive manner or else you’ll run the risk of losing their engagement in future meetings. Board meetings are heavily reliant on people and time. When all steps are taken to master these elements, you won’t go far wrong.
Conclusion on Running A Better Board Meeting
As a Director or Business Leader, you are very aware of the fact that successful board meetings are integral to guiding your team to the desired outcomes. However, it’s only natural that you have several fears regarding the conduct and productivity of those meetings.
By actively identifying and preventing those potential problems with smarter planning and strategies, you’ll be guaranteed to enjoy awesome board meetings that are free from the negative aspects often generated by office politics. In turn, the rewards for your business can be huge.
What to do next?
If you’re a Director or Business Leader who wants to eradicate your blind spot and gain 3rd person perspective without office politics getting in the way of progress then “Boardview” will help you to keep meetings focused and on track AND most importantly; Start running board meetings that drive your business forward!