Effective meetings through parliamentary procedure

Your meetings can run more smoothly with a basic understanding of Robert's Rules of Order.

Have you participated on a board that identified itself as “following Robert’s Rules?” Most likely the answer is yes, but have you ever wondered who Robert is and where he developed his rules?

According to the official website for Robert’s Rules of Order, Robert, an Army officer, was asked to preside over a church meeting in his community. Upon his realization that he needed to learn more, he searched out parliamentary procedure books and eventually authored his first book, which is now on its eleventh edition.

Chances are if you wondered who Robert was, you also wondered what his rules really meant. Parliamentary procedure is the body of rules, ethics and customs governing meetings and other operations of clubs, organizations, legislative bodies and other deliberative assemblies. It is part of the common law originating primarily in the practices of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, from which it derives its name.

Understanding a handful of these best practices for running effective meetings can improve meeting productivity and effectiveness. Having a grasp of parliamentary procedure, following board rules and agendas, and respecting member roles can make everyone better leaders. When leaders exhibit such skills and follow the rules the public will too.

Michigan State University Extension offers a workshop to understand these basic principles.

The workshop will cover:

  • Basics of parliamentary principles and procedure
  • Decorum in debate
  • Making motions
  • Roles of members
  • Board rules
  • Rules for public comment
  • Meeting agendas
  • Minutes

The workshop will also include ample opportunity to ask questions and share experiences, plus activities to interact with other participants and apply learning.

This training is intended for local government boards/commissions, private or non-profit boards, and clubs/associations. Interested participants can register here for the next upcoming session.

Date: Wednesday May 3, 2017 6-8:30 p.m.

Cost: The workshop is $20 for individuals; Master Citizen Planners will earn 2.5 continuing education hours. Refunds are not available for this session.

Location: The Stone House Educational Center 419 S. Coral St. Kalkaska, MI 49646

The Michigan State University Extension Leadership and Community Engagement team offers professional development training, including volunteer board development, communicating through conflict, meeting management and facilitation skills development, and organizational strategic visioning and planning.

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