Some Board members are quiet during meetings, but they engage in spirited discussions during breaks or in the parking lot after the meeting. Such conversations may include criticisms of decisions that were made or complaints about how the meeting was run.
Relevant concerns are expressed when it is too late for them to affect Board decisions and, as a result, the organization may be at risk. Unexpressed concerns about flaws in the conduct of meetings perpetuate and legitimize dysfunctional practices. Side conversations can lead into factions.
If the relevant information was shared during a break and you become aware of it, bring it to everyone’s attention when the meeting resumes. If the ideas were shared after the meeting was adjourned, it may be necessary to revisit a flawed decision at a subsequent meeting.As a preventive measure, establish that there are no stupid questions or comments, except those that you keep to yourself. Remind members that a Board is not a social club but a serious decision-making body, and that they are negligent in their duty to the organization when they do not share important observations or with hold them until after the meeting.