Meetings are extremely important to conduct the business of an association. So important that a large portion of the Florida Statutes is dedicated to them. Gold Property Management & Associates, Inc. strives to help ensure that your Board’s meetings are efficient and effective.
These are some ideas that we recommend to the Board in order to have meaningful and productive meetings which would translate into benefits for the community.
Prepare an Agenda
1. An agenda should be developed for the meeting and handed out to all Board members before the meeting so that they know which topics are going to be considered and they can come prepared. Meetings that do not have an agenda tend to be lengthy and off focus, weakening, in many instances, the Board effectiveness in dealing with the core issues of the community presented at the meeting.
2. We recommend that the Minutes of the last meeting should be in advance so that they can be reviewed by all Board members before they come to the meeting. The Minutes should collect the spirit of the meeting, and be faithful to the discussed and approved topics. It should always be presented at the next meeting by the property management company.
An association should never allow its property management to be behind, even for one single meeting, with the presentation of the Minutes. Time tends to erase or fade human memory, thus preventing the reproduction of what was agreed collectively for the benefit of the community.
3. Good communication is essential in a meeting. One of the courtesy principles calls for only one person to speak at a time, with the audience listening attentively and without interrupting. Humans are trained to write and speak. Listening is a forgotten lesson that often causes misunderstandings and undesirable situations. In Gold Property Management & Associates is our goal to always listen to people, especially when they complain, since, we understand, this is the only way to stay focused in the problems presented by owners at the meetings or in any other situation, even if they are very angry or agitated.
4. It is important to respect others’ point of view. Never, ridiculing another person’s opinion. Insinuations should have no place at a Board meeting. If it seems that there is an unspoken meaning behind the words being used, it is the Chair’s job to work with the speaker to identify his/her message to avoid misunderstandings.
5. It is always useful to set time limits. For example, the meeting will start at 8:00 p.m. and adjourn at 10:00 p.m. No more than 30 minutes should be spent on the financial report. The topics and the contracts under consideration regarding the community’s schedule, for example, will be discussed and concluded in a predetermined amount of minutes. If a minority of the members wish to continue beyond the agreed upon time limit, there should be a procedure for checking to see if others on the Board are willing to continue the discussion.
6. The Chair, which is the parliamentary word used to designate the person conducting the meeting, must understand his/her role. It is the Chair’s responsibility to encourage free discussion of the topic being considered, to keep the discussion moving forward, identify the issues relating to the topic and to define the decisions that must be made.
7. The meetings should be adjourned on time and the business conducted written down for the next Minutes