Board Ettiquette

World Tang Soo Do Board Meeting Etiquette

Since proper behavior at Board meetings is of the utmost importance, it is paramount to understand proper protocol before, during and after Board meetings are adjourned. Since the agenda is always sent out ahead of time, all members of the Board and any invited guests have the responsibility to review the material before the meeting and to be familiar with it so that you may actively participate in discussions. You are advised and encouraged to prepare any questions and comments ahead of time, allowing you to partake in Board discussions should the time come.

In order to be prepared, please follow the guidelines below.

Before the Meeting

  • Familiarize yourself with the agenda and all materials provided, including the minutes and consent agenda, and request other material ahead of time, should you need to do so.  Also feel free to submit any questions in advance if you think it would be helpful to have the presenter prepared to answer such questions.
  • Choose the right seat, and organize yourself ahead of time to minimize noise and disruption.

During the Meeting

  • Protocol requires all participants, including Board directors, to silence their cell phones. It is understandable if a person needs to take an emergency call; if that should happen, you must excuse yourself and step outside. Texting or checking messages during the meeting is frowned upon.
  • Recording the meeting is not generally permitted.
  • Board directors must stay focused on the item being discussed and be engaged in the discussion, providing appropriate levels of attention to the matter at hand.
  • Should you arrive late, do not expect the meeting to stop or to go back to address previous agenda items. Anticipated late arrivals should be reported to the President and Secretary in advance of the meeting. 
  • You should not leave early unless it is necessary to do so.  Anticipated early departures should be reported to the President and Secretary in advance of the meeting.
  • As Board discussions take place, remember to be civil and courteous, remembering that everyone is entitled to a different opinion on matters.
  • You should always wait to be recognized to speak and, when so recognized, direct your comments to the appropriate person.
  • When other members are speaking, do not interrupt; listen actively and objectively. It is frowned upon to interrupt other members, no matter the reason. If you must comment, do so in such a way that is constructive, criticism-free, and non-emotional. Disagreeing with members is accepted, aggressive behavior towards others is not.
  • Any Board member who has a conflict of interest with an agenda item should declare the conflict and abstain from voting. It is advised to do so in a respectful manner and always doing so after the Board chair has recognized you to speak.  If a conflict is not self-reported, you may be informed by the President, Secretary or legal counsel that it is inappropriate for you to cast a vote on certain matters, in the event a conflict is recognized by another member of the Board.

After the Meeting

  • Board directors are not relieved from their fiduciary duties once the meeting is adjourned. Both the confidentiality and sensitivity of Board discussions must be kept private and therefore sharing information and decisions made at the meeting with non-Board members, regardless of their rank or position, is prohibited until such information or decisions are made public.
  • All Board decisions must be supported, even if they went against your vote.  After a meeting, it is expected that all votes and decisions are upheld by all members of the Board.
  • Everyone involved in the Board meeting must be civil and respectful once the meeting is adjourned, regardless of the results.