Guest post by Craig Freshley. We are big fans of Craig’s wisdom and are delighted to share this post with our readers. Visit Craig’s website for more superb tips on meetings and leadership. In principle, even though multi-tasking seems ever more popular, the fact remains that focusing on one goal at a time is the…

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A reader writes to say that in his city council, the members frequently say, “Point of Personal Privilege,” and then go on to give their opinion about something. This is wrong. Robert’s Rules of Order explains that in a meeting, members may raise a Point of General Privilege, or a Point of Personal Privilege. Neither…

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Local governments face a tough climate these days. Customs of courtesy have faded and people are often both passionate and rude about their issues. If you are a mayor or presiding officer of a public body, it is critical that you control disorder in your chambers. Council meetings are meetings of the council The basic…

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A colleague asked for our best tips on leading committee meetings at work using Robert’s Rules. In general, Robert’s Rules don’t apply at work The first and obvious point is that work is not a venue where Robert’s Rules and parliamentary procedure apply. That system of meeting management is designed for assemblies—groups—where all members have…

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When I posted this question, Betsy Cawn of Lake County, California wrote a short and pungent response. Much appreciated, Betsy! Thanks to you, Ann, Robert’s Rules DO NOT drive me crazy — but unlearned colleagues who refuse to even discuss the abbreviated set of “simple guidelines” you provide certainly DO. Somewhere between the extreme formality…

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A reader contacted us recently to ask whether the executive committee of his organization had the right to overturn a decision made by the full board. The answer is no, unless the bylaws give that right. Similarly, a board of directors may not overturn a decision made by the full membership. Robert’s Rules is very…

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Robert's Rules of Order 11th edition

Abuse of authority by the chair can be challenging. Here is the guidance from Robert’s Rules of Order. Our blog posts listed below give more information on the practical aspects of dealing with abuse of authority by the chair. ENFORCING POINTS OF ORDER AND APPEALS. If the chair at a meeting acts improperly (for example,…

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There are eight steps to processing ordinary motions in Robert’s Rules. Download PDF At the right time in the agenda, after the member has been recognized by the chair, A member makes a motion. Another member seconds the motion. The chair states the motion. Members discuss and/or amend the motion. The chair restates the motion…

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Taking the time to construct a powerful agenda will make a big difference to your meetings. Avoid these agenda mistakes: An agenda that would take two days to get through, not two hours. An agenda that fails to assign suggested time limits for discussion. An agenda that is emailed at 6:00 am for a 7:00…

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One of the most useful tools for efficient meetings is a “consent agenda.” This is a single item of business on a regular agenda that includes several items bundled together. The items cannot be discussed or debated. They are approved with a single vote. To learn about agendas in general, read our article here. Download…

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