• Kathy Fitzgerald

The board member who constantly interrupts meetings with questions

Is it a need for attention or a genuine need for answers?

Repetitive questioning quickly becomes an annoyance

If there is one member who is continually asking questions about the board materials during the meetings, it would appear that this person didn’t do his homework. Or he may be new to the board and has a need to impress others with his area of expertise.

A chairperson’s role is to move the meeting along without too many disruptions from members and also walk a thin line between appropriate questions or someone appearing to be attention grabbing.

One of my experiences with a past organization was being questioned about the #financial report by a new board member at each and every board meeting. This member was a new CFO with a construction company and felt that the organization needed to change how the finances were managed and reported.

After many meetings and his many questions focused on the financial reports, I suggested that he meet with the finance #manager to share his thoughts and ideas. These meetings went well and the finance manager was open to adopting some of his ideas.

A Chair and CEO needs to treat these types of situations with #patience and not feel pressured to accept each and every demand from a vocal board member. In this case the CEO treated the board member in a respectful manner where a positive #solution was achieved.

This organization now receives its financial reports at board meetings from the finance manager who can answer questions from the members directly on all financial matters.

Changing the reporting format for board meetings could benefit your CEO and the board members. The person who prepares the reports for the board meetings, such as the financial manager or event manager, might be the best person present to report to the board.
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