meeting ground rules

What does it look like if the chair is being a bully?

By Ann Macfarlane / December 2, 2021 / Comments Off on What does it look like if the chair is being a bully?

Guest post by Nicole Schenk Do you suspect that your chair is being a bully? Essentially, this occurs when the chair is not doing their duty to protect the rights of members during meetings, and allows their own personal beliefs or preferences to override their commitment to their duties as chair (or president or mayor—whoever…

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Don’t drink on Zoom

By Ann Macfarlane / November 12, 2021 / Comments Off on Don’t drink on Zoom

Dear Dinosaur: As our Zoom meeting rolls along, a member of our board starts making quips and silly jokes. He keeps his video off and takes a long time to unmute when called upon to vote. Then he leaves himself unmuted, and starts making jokes while others are speaking. A few days after the meeting,…

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Committees in Robert’s Rules

By Ann Macfarlane / August 13, 2021 /

Do you want committees that run smooth and effective meetings? Download our paper, “Committees in Robert’s Rules,” to learn how they can. Committees in Robert’s Rules – Introduction A committee is a group of volunteers who have agreed to do a job defined by someone else. The key fact about a committee is that it…

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Unanimous written consent in lieu of a meeting

By Ann Macfarlane / June 23, 2021 /

One of the useful techniques to add to your voting toolkit is “unanimous written consent in lieu of a meeting.” If allowed by state law, you can use this approach when it’s not feasible to hold a live board meeting. In order to do this, prepare a written motion proposing the action that you would…

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When can you bring up a new topic during a meeting?

By Ann Macfarlane / June 11, 2021 / Comments Off on When can you bring up a new topic during a meeting?

At a recent council meeting I attended, the city issued a proclamation honoring efforts to assist the homeless. In responding to the proclamation, a local pastor asked the council to provide extra funding for their project. Before the mayor could move on to public comment, a council member made a motion to provide the funding.…

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Disruptive members derailing your Zoom meetings? Use these rules!

By Ann Macfarlane / May 24, 2021 / Comments Off on Disruptive members derailing your Zoom meetings? Use these rules!

A client is running Zoom meetings for 300-400 members. Not surprisingly, the meetings are challenging! People fail to follow common courtesy, Points of Order are rife, sometimes discourse collapses. It doesn’t have to be that way. Jurassic Parliament has developed a set of “sample Zoom rules,” based on Robert’s Rules of Order and adapted to…

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Lost the vote? Don’t sabotage the council’s action

By Ann Macfarlane / April 20, 2021 /

We’ve had inquiries recently about elected officials who lost a vote, and then actively worked against the outcome. This amounts to trying to sabotage the council. It is wrong, wrong, wrong. Download PDF The majority rules General Henry Martyn Robert, the original author of Robert’s Rules of Order, expresses it this way: The great lesson…

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Hostages of her ranting

By Ann Macfarlane / March 1, 2021 /

Dear Dinosaur: One board member was dissatisfied with the way the bylaws amendment process was handled. At the membership meeting, she proceeded to monopolize the meeting and refused to stop having the conversation. So we were all hostages of her ranting. Is there anything to do? Answer: At a meeting, a member of an organization has…

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Are your meetings seven hours long?

By Ann Macfarlane / February 23, 2021 / Comments Off on Are your meetings seven hours long?

  This strange time of COVID-19 is producing some strange situations. We hear reports of local government meetings lasting far into the night, in some cases taking as long as 7 hours. (See this article about San Jose California). Does this happen to you? Are your meetings too long? If yes, what can be done…

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