Collector - January 2021 - 34

BUSINESSOPERATIONS

By the Book
Whether you're running the meeting or taking part in it, knowing Robert's Rules of Order
can help ensure things run smoothly.
By Debra Ciskey

W

e've all been there. It's your first
time attending a meeting of a
group you've just joined and
as soon as it starts you feel lost and out of
place. Someone seems to be running things
but you're not sure who, people are not
speaking clearly and avoiding eye contact,
and as each minute passes you feel more
like an outsider than before you walked in
the door.
If it's a formal group, they may be
following their own modified version
of Robert's Rules of Order. Robert's
Rules promote courtesy, consistency

34

and impartiality. Knowing the basics of
Robert's Rules as they pertain to simple
meeting protocol can help you in this
situation and many others throughout
your career.

THE AGENDA
Let's start at the beginning with the
agenda, which establishes the order topics
will be discussed at the meeting. Robert's
Rules, which can be found at robertsrules.
com, suggest using a six-part agenda. Once
the roll is called and recorded, a quorum
can be established.

A quorum is defined by the operating
rules of the group, and it spells out how
many voting members must be present
for the group to carry on official business.
Generally, if a quorum is not present,
the group can meet informally but no
motions can be considered or voted
on. After the quorum is established,
the first official order of business is to
read and approve the minutes from
the last meeting.
Minutes are the official record of the
proceedings from the last meeting. ACA
International, for instance, distributes

ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG


http://www.ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG

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