In this blog, Jo Haigh, OnBoarding Officers Founder, Tutor and Serial Non-Executive Director, outlines the 20 mistakes to avoid in the boardroom.
It’s never a mistake if you learn from the incident, of course, and as the old saying goes you are unlikely to have done anything if you haven’t made a mistake of one kind or another. But there are some things that you may like to try and avoid or activate to improve your performance:
Don’t make things personal, you are a professional in the boardroom and even if you have to face a personal attack resist the temptation to retort in the same manner.
Don’t hog the debate and equally don’t stay silent, you need to actively participate but ensure all have a voice.
Read and absorb properly all the board information before you come to the board meeting, not only is it disrespectful not to do so, but it’s going to make you annoying and ineffective.
Don’t participate in cliques i.e. NEDs vs the executives, you are one board, not two teams.
Don’t ask irrelevant questions just to prove you are there.
Listen before you respond, really listen.
When you don’t understand something admit it.
Share your knowledge willingly.
Be approachable and human, not just in the boardroom but in the company.
Support the rest of the board and get to know them and what their real worries and issues are.
Don’t be afraid to say the obvious, it may not be obvious to everyone else.
Be a mentor and counsel to the executives.
Do what you say you will do and do it on time.
It is essential to be in the room.
Use humour when needed appropriately and sensitively.
Know the politics of the business but don’t play games with people’s lives and careers.
Keep your own notes, don’t rely on others to share theirs.
Don’t ever openly berate someone in the boardroom take this outside.