Your board meetings are too important to let your board members and other attendees sleepwalk through. Time to get them mentally and emotionally engaged in your meeting purpose and agenda.

While board meeting software is a huge leap in meeting evolution, cost savings, and business process improvement. However, the software in and of itself doesn’t create powerful outcomes.

How To Reconnect Them

People generate impact if they’re properly involved in the proceedings. Out of all elements of meetings, disengagement of board members and attendees is the single biggest problem. If we don’t get people to participate, contribute and carry out actions, then we won’t achieve our goals.
If meeting managers focus too much on process when planning their meetings, it could result in meetings that are much ado about nothing. Your meeting agenda might well put them back into zombie mode.

I’d like to introduce 5 techniques might be well used to get buy in from executives of all kinds. So simple, yet when applied consistently, you should begin seeing a bigger contribution from board members and more certainty and enthusiasm about what they’re doing.

What are the benefits of engaging meetings?

  • People feel their contribution matters
  • People likely to contribute and voice opinions
  • Willingness to work as part of a team
  • Increase in attendance and punctuality
  • Do more to help others on the board
  • Attendees more authentic and transparent about their position/interests
  • Attendees more creative and more to offer the board
  • Greater confidence in the resolutions agreed on
  • Active engagement in problem solving
  • More relaxed, open and positive attitudes
  • Members take ownership/responsibility for their roles and actions

If we can get our boards to be creative, and build conscensus, then we can bring about significant change and results. How do you get people mentally and emotionally engaged in a meeting?

Here’s 5 ways to make it so:

1. In your agenda, ask a key/central question that gives participants a focus or a start that is easy to work with such as “are we ready to vote on this now” or “is this the right time to adopt meeting software, or should we buy installed software or go with SaaS?” This lets them easily get focused on the reason for the meeting.

2. List the top questions you want to ask based on what you need to know. Start with issues/ideas that you know will get everyone on the same page, and thus in a cooperative frame of mind. Reframe your questions so they’re not intimidating – break your need down into smaller specific matters that help build forward momentum.

3. Acknowledge each member’s own unique thinking and decision making process. It’s not validation in front of the group, it’s helping them access their own personal mode of doing work and awareness of their own interests and values in front of the group. With all that out there, they’ll be more authentic and transparent going forward, with less reason to shy away from the discussing the issues.

4. Mention brainstorming and problem solving techniques to consistently encourage them to push past barriers to get at information and solutions. And mention alternative views and possibilities in order to keep conversations open.

5. Ask them about the end result or good that will result, and whether the resolution would be in agreement with the board’s mission and philosophy. When they see the vision it encourages them to put away their doubts and petty issues.

You can power up your board meeting by allowing for and being grateful for their contribution to the meeting discussions. The brainstorming techniques combined with the reading you suggest can go a long way to enrich the topics, connecting them with their own interests and desire for good. And actively helping them see the value of their contribution means they’ll be more likely to listen and participate, as well as take ownership of their role on the board.

Still undecided about technology? From iPads to cloud hosting services to SaaS subscriptions to wearable technology, to transparency with the public the issue won’t go away. It might be time to open your arms to new tech solutions. It can cut the costs of meetings and pave the way for more time for board members.

If you’re still undecided about adopting open source or the Microsoft architecture, learn more about the features and benefits of Microsoft SharePoint and SharePoint app development.

Is your company or department’s culture the biggest barrier to adopting new disruptive technology? Read up on how to develop a more responsive organization.

Talk to us today about how eSCRIBE might be the beginning of something great for your municipality. Set an example for other departments by leading the way in cost effective software solutions. You’ll win in dollars and admiration of your staff.