During board meetings, top-tier leaders gather to discuss and debate strategic issues that face their organisations. These discussions have an impact on the direction of the company, from investor confidence to public opinion. It’s important for board directors ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness in their meetings. This article provides guidelines to conduct board meetings with the aim of fostering productive and engaging discussions.

Begin by welcoming and introducing every board member particularly if they’re new to the meeting. This will help create an open and collaborative boardroom to encourage participation, and assist in establishing good boardroom etiquette.

Begin and conclude the meeting in a timely manner, as it is a sign of respect for other directors and prevents tardiness. This is especially important when meeting virtually, where managing time can be a challenge.

Don’t waste time on mundane or routine issues like committee reports and voting. Limit these items to 25 percent of your meeting time. Then take the remainder of the time discussing strategy and other important topics.

Be clear about how decisions will be made at the time of the meeting (consensus, voting, or other method). This will ensure that all board members know the process of decision-making and are able to participate in meaningful discussions.

Get feedback from your board members regarding their satisfaction with the way you conduct board meetings. You can do this by conducting informal conversations, or using surveys and polling tools. For instance, you can ask whether the structure of the meeting and content allows for a lively discussion or ask them evaluate the different aspects of a meeting on the basis of a numerical scale.