Although not everyone agrees with me on this one, and it has to be done carefully, I like the idea of "Board Meeting Rules or Guidelines." Every Board should consider creating their own list and putting a few copies out on the table ahead of meetings, or adding to every Board package.
Here is my sample list of 9 rules:
- Arrive on time & stay until the end.
- Come prepared to the meeting.
- Don't use judgmental statements. Keep it positive.
- Don't speak over others. Chair will ensure fair time.
- Listen with focus (the #1 way to reveal respect).
- Don't monopolize conversation. Keep it short.
- Ask, ask, ask. There are rarely any stupid questions.
- Keep confidential information confidential.
- Courageous debate in boardroom, Unity outside of it.
Bonus rule: We keep our phones on silent or vibrate mode.