Meeting Masters A Team Effort Moves Meetings Along Smoothly

 Disorganized and poorly-run board meetings are time-wasters that can make even  the most ardent board member cringe at the thought of an upcoming session. On  the flip side, a well-run board meeting can be a productive hour or two or  three that benefits the entire building. Here are a few tips from the  professionals for getting the most out of your meetings.  

 Preparing for the Meeting

 No one should be heading into a monthly board meeting unprepared and uninformed.  The days when the board meeting served as the primary method of disseminating  information are long gone; today rapid communication like email, smart phones  and BlackBerry devices can keep board members, residents and managers  up-to-date monthly, weekly, daily or even by the hour. So preparation for the  next meeting can begin almost as soon as the first one ends.  

 “When I work with managers and board members—during their training, I tell them that the most important thing is to clearly  identify what the meeting agenda is,” says Marc Mallet, the director of field operations for Atlantic & Pacific Management in Bay Harbor Islands. “The best preparation is to have a precise agenda and clearly identify the agenda  items and stick to the meeting plan.”  

 Others would agree that preparation is the keystone to having a successful and  stress-free meeting.  

 “First things, first, you have to be prepared, it’s like the boy scouts,” says Paul Licata, director of business development for Seacrest Services Inc.  in West Palm Beach. “For example, if you are going to be discussing a particular project that’s coming up, make sure you have all of your backup documentation: proposals,  reports, budgets and financials. We have a corporate policy that states board  packages shall include a copy of the agenda, latest financials, previous  meeting minutes, a detailed manager’s report and all documentation that the board will discuss or vote on. All of  this will be included in a comprehensive package and delivered to each member  of the board a minimum of three days prior to a properly-noticed board meeting.  This ensures all involved in the decision-making process are in a position to  make educated decisions in a timely manner.”  

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