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5 Tips for Running an Association Board Meeting
Running an effective homeowner’s association (HOA) board meeting is like mastering the zipper merge. When it’s performed properly, everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing and it looks effortless. It just takes preparation and some practice to get it right.
Whether your association is new or has been around for a while, keeping a meeting running smoothly does not happen by accident. This writer has been in the unique position of having served on the board of her association, and is also an association manager. In both aspects, there are common factors which can affect HOA board meetings. Long, noisy and chaotic meetings cause misery for boards, managers and members alike. There are ways to reduce and even avoid the dilemmas that plague HOA board meetings.
Different types of meetings will have specialized items to be addressed, but no matter what kind of meeting is being held, here are five tips to optimize meeting efficiency.
Be aware of the items that may invoke passionate and long-winded discussion. This too, can be addressed via the agenda. For those who wish to speak, a time limit of two minutes is advised, and an advance directive at the beginning of the meeting to let attendees know that discussion is limited to new information on the topic.
While it’s great to think, “We’ll cover all the topics on the agenda to completion” the reality is, the most productive meetings will produce an action item list with tasks for future follow-up. Again, it’s about time. Some decisions require more time and information than is available at the time of the meeting, and it’s okay to note that; and table the item for further review.
Another venue consideration is acoustics. Community meeting rooms with hard floors have a greater level of echo and sound bounce back. It can be managed with effective direction from the presiding officer, and limiting side conversations. Keep these considerations in mind when seeking and selecting locations for board meetings.
 Side Conversation
By Joy Steele, CMCA
Community Manager, Trestle Community Management