Meeting etiquette is really just a matter of manners and common sense. However, it doesn't hurt to give some reminders. Here's our top 10.
- DON'T arrive late or leave early.
DO arrive on time (or early) and leave only when the meeting is finished.
- DON'T make your first reading of the meeting agenda and supporting documents as you walk in the door.
DO make a careful reading of all items well in advance of the meeting. Make note of the items you would like to speak to and what you plan to say.
- DON'T make personal attacks or rehash issues that have already been decided.
DO learn how to accept board decisions graciously, even if your view has been overruled.
- DON'T launch into discussions about irrelevant information.
DO stick to the agenda.
- DON'T agree to decisions or action you don't understand.
DO ask questions and insist on answers when you need clarification.
- DON'T ignore potential or current conflicts of interest that you think have arisen or may arise in the future.
DO take appropriate action to ensure you and your board are protected from possible or real conflicts.
- DON'T speak without listening or interrupt people when they are talking.
DO ensure you give the views of each board member respect and consideration.
- DON'T underrate the contribution you can make – or the contribution you should make during meetings.
DO attempt to make an active contribution to debates and discussions.
- DON'T assume knowledge.
DO answer any questions meeting participants ask, even if they appear naïve.
- DON'T discuss confidential information outside the boardroom.
DO respect all confidences afforded to you in your role.