Meetings, meetings, meetings! Board meetings are one of the most crucial things for your organization, as they are essential for your overall strategy, accountability, and some might argue morale. Every member of the board should be hand-picked to represent the company in all aspects. In any meeting, you might have some on from accounting, HR, sales, or the Tech teams.
There is so much going on that it can become problematic when people are not there, more than just physically, at the meetings. They’re either in their heads or didn’t come prepared.
Let’s take a look at some of the questions that would go through their heads.
“Why am I here?”
We sometimes get into slumps when it comes to meetings. These are fleeting and eventually will go away, and we’ll be back to being our usually happy-go-lucky selves. Others, however, seem to start in the slump and never get out of it. These people tend to hate the regularity of board meetings, every meeting goes too long, nothing gets done really, and they have better things to do.
The primary issue with this person is they bring down the entire meeting, and would honestly be better not being there. That’s what they want, however. So, the issue becomes getting everything set up.
“What was I meant to do for this?”
People are busy; you get that. However, some people have significant issues with having too much on their plate. These people also end up being the ones who can’t remember what they committed to doing the previous meeting.
This can hurt the meeting, cause time delays or to having to skip over parts. The person can then end up feeling embarrassed and withdraw almost entirely from the conversation.
“They don’t know what they’re talking about!”
This thought is not great, at all. When people think this, they end up resenting everyone in the meeting. The person can end up looking standoffish to other board members. Having everyone feel uneasy will lead to less of an open discussion on important matters, and more of quick-let’s-get-this-over-and-done-with mentality.
This may be a significant red flag that you will need to be corrected as soon as possible. To leave the person thinking an believing this will reinforce the thought. So the next meeting they will be thinking the same thing.
All the other ones!
Here are a few more that some members might think
“Why talk when I won’t be heard!“
“There is no one in charge of these meetings!“
“This meeting should be about what I need to discuss!“
“Why do we even need these meetings?”
What should you do about this?
What can you do to change these thoughts in your members, some you can correct by giving fewer responsibilities. Others, you can have conversations and try to support an environment that nurtures engagement in your meetings.
What you shouldn’t do is do nothing. Do nothing will lead to these thoughts growing and maybe passing on to others in the meetings. In the end, you could end up with unproductive meetings with no direction or purpose.