When you create an advisory board for your business, in order to gain the most from each other, one of the most important aspects is to understand the importance of communication and how to facilitate it. In any relationship, communication is vitally important. In business, this idea is no exception. Too often, people do not understand how to facilitate strong communication and end up missing out on great opportunities. Here are some tips to better facilitate communication with your advisory board.
Create clear objectives and engage your board
When you first establish an advisory board, it’s important to set clear objectives so that you’re all on the same page. Define your challenges so your board members understand where they can support you. Starting off on a strong note by establishing what you’re looking for, what your challenges are, and what everyone expects can only set you up for success. Too often, people do not have the same expectations and it can lead to major miscommunication.
Connect with individuals
You will certainly need to speak with individual advisory board members; when you need to do so, try to meet with them on an individual basis instead of taking up group meeting time. You’ll avoid wasting other members’ time and you can create a more personal connection with individual members of your board. Try to motivate your board members to reach out to you when they have some important news for you or even better, when they want to introduce you to a potential customer.
Share relevant context before meetings to make sure Board Members are well prepared
As with any meeting, sharing relevant context documents and critical questions and challenges you are facing can be extremely beneficial. The board members will have a clear overview of what your challenges are and will have had time to think about specific advice. Make sure all members can prepare ahead of time by sending out the board documents outline at least a week before the meeting. This outline allows you to clearly communicate your ideas and what you want to touch base on and gives them the time to think about how to best support you..
Regularly touch base and engage your board members
While you may have regular meetings scheduled with your advisory board, it’s important to touch bases in other ways. Ensure that you do have a regular meeting setup, but then provide your board with consistent updates as well. Reach out once or twice a month updating them on what’s happening at the company and asking for any input or thoughts they’ve had since you last spoke. Regular contact keeps communication open and helps develop a close relationship. Find ways to motivate your board members to actively approach you with ideas or contacts that can be useful for your business.
Learn to listen
Far too many people do not understand the value of listening and how to actually focus on what others are saying. Even if a member of your board offers advice you do not like or do not think is helpful, still listen to them and consider what they’re saying. Do not be quick to dismiss something a board member says; you chose them for a reason and they’re experts. During your Board Meetings the Board Members should be talking 85% of the time. Board Meetings should not be used to educate the Board Members and the management takes up valuable time to present the Board Documents that were previously distributed.