Board meetings are an important part of any HOA. As long as everyone stays on topic and works together, it’s smooth sailing, but when things go wrong, it can make meetings long, unproductive and useless. Here are some suggestions on three common problems that cause board meetings to go bad.
Straying From the Topic
A good board meeting stays on topic, so you can get in and out quickly and solve necessary problems. Sure, it’s fine to have a little personal chit chat before or after the meeting, but when board members stray from the topic at hand during the meeting, it can cause the meeting to drag on for hours. It’s too common for board members to start talking about unrelated HOA issues or personal issues.
When this happens, it’s up to the meeting’s Chair or Board President to get things back on track. Remind board members that personal conversations should be held before or after meetings. If someone keeps trying to talk about a topic that isn’t on the agenda, tell them you’ll include it in the next meeting’s agenda, so they can be heard at the appropriate time.
Difficult Board Members
In every aspect of life, you’ll come across difficult people, and the HOA board is no different. You may simply have board members who want to cause trouble or just don’t get along with other board members. This can cause disruption, so you aren’t able to complete the meeting tasks.
Dealing with difficult people is always a challenge. Start by listening to what they have to say. Perhaps they have some valuable opinions, but they don’t know how to express them properlyly. However, if the person is trying to depress everyone or cause panic, don’t agree with them or let them get to you. If necessary, go ahead and stop the speaker, and explain how they are being counterproductive toward helping solve the problem. Turn the focus to finding a solution instead.
Another way board meetings are sure to go bad is if leaders are unprepared. Before the meeting, you need to make sure you have everything you need, which includes the governing documents. If you have information that everyone needs to see, make sure everyone has a copy.
When possible, help other board members get prepared before the meeting. You can post the meeting outline and necessary information on the HOA website or deliver paper copies, so the board members know exactly what to expect and can familiarize themselves with the relevant information.
Like any meeting, board meetings can go astray, but you can get them back on track. Making sure to stay on topic, not letting difficult people control the meeting and being prepared are the keys to a successful meeting.
Check out AssociationVoice’s Community Edition where past meeting minutes and upcoming meeting agendas can be stored for the neighborhood.