Meetings take a lot of time. They can be expensive and time consuming to prepare for.
Inefficient meetings frustrate participants, make them less productive and result in poorer quality management.
- Have an agenda. This tells everyone what will be covered and helps keep meetings focused.
- Have a firm start time and end time – and stick to them. This serves as a reminder to all that everyone’s time is important and discourages tardiness. It encourages brevity and discourages attendees from bringing up topics not on the agenda.
- Prepare only those materials that are necessary. Avoid unnecessary documentation or presentations when only key points are desirable. Presentations on unrelated topics, and those which are long or boring, make meetings inefficient and ineffective.
- Distribute the agenda and materials at least a few days in advance of a meeting. Ask attendees to review materials and be prepared to discuss agenda items.
- Moderate the discussion. Typically it is the president of the condo corporation that calls and moderates meetings. The moderator is generally silent most of the time. Their role is to guide the meeting, keep everyone on-topic and moving forward within the time allotted for discussion, decisions or resolution.
- Verbally confirm decisions and action items. Part of the moderator’s role is to confirm decisions made, any action items determined and individuals assigned to those action items. Action items should be placed on a future agenda. The single biggest failure of many meetings is a failure to clearly identify decisions, action items, responsibilities and following through until final resolution.
- Expectations for follow-up should be articulated. For any decision or action item, any next step or follow-up action should be clearly stated. All follow-up items should have a completion and reporting deadline.
Meetings are when people get together to make decisions for the benefit of the condo community. Ensuring these meetings are effective and productive is a necessary aspect of good condo governance.