There’s nothing worse than sitting through an HOA Board meeting wondering if you’re accomplishing anything. You’re probably thinking of all the issues that won’t get discussed.  You ask yourself why you’re wasting your time when there are other things you could be doing. 

Sound familiar? Have you been in a meeting that goes awry and accomplishes little? It’s frustrating to say the least, but you and every member of your Board know that meetings are important. It’s how you budget, review projects, select vendors and run the association.  Not only are meetings the most efficient ways to get certain things done, they’re the most effective tools for managing teams–if they’re done right, that is.

If your Board meetings are not as productive as you would like or if they occasionally digress with little achievement, here an easy formula that can help you get them back on track.

No leader + no documentation + no follow up = waste of time. Steve Tobak explains in an Inc. article that every meeting must have a leader, a purpose, a start and end time, and a valid reason for each person to be there. The leader (or someone he/she appoints) documents and follows up. Let’s look at each component of this equation.

The Leader plans for the meeting. Laying out the objectives, setting the tone and keeping the meeting moving forward are key leader responsibilities. Leaders who know how to get engagement, consensus and how to use tools like Parking Lots for offline and off-topic issues run the most productive meetings.

Documentation of meeting outcomes, agreements, disagreements, and action items is critical to ensuring that this information is preserved for meeting attendees and future reference.  Write it down — it gets done. If you fail to capture an action item, chances are that it won’t be done.

Follow Up is the power behind implementation. After the minutes with action items are sent to Board members, follow up to ensure it has been received. Ask if additional information or assistance is needed to complete the task. If it’s a complicated or long-lasting task, you may need to follow up more than once. Mark the task off the action register when it is complete.

It’s worth some time in your Board meeting to assess your meetings. Ask your Board members for improvement opportunities that would make the meeting more effective. As people brainstorm, there’s usually at least one good suggestion.  People like to feel that their input is important, so asking for input builds better team dynamics too.

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