If you want to be influential in the boardroom, foresight is essential. To do this, a director must anticipate the conversational direction and decision-making voices in a dynamic boardroom debate.
To begin the process of becoming more influential, start with observing. Watch the actions of the directors during the board meeting, and ask yourself the following questions:
- Who do they look to for an opening statement or a final summary?
- Who is persuasive and who is a problem solver?
- Who understands how change is designed?
Building awareness by noting how the directors interact will help you to orient yourself and your style with the board. You will become agile and increase the chances of engaging in the conversation in a highly effective manner.
The board’s ecosystem—it’s culture and how it makes sense of issues—will become apparent as you observe how it weeds out what is significant and what is irrelevant. Observe on two levels:
- Interpersonal – how the directors are engaging one another or not
- Contextual – the larger circumstances that are affecting opinions and perceptions