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Questions don’t have to drag out your board meetings.

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Too many board meetings go way too long, and one of the main reasons is lack of preparation, and this can be true of both a manager and the board members. Managers, one of the most important things you can do is to find out what information your board members need in order to make decisions at the meeting, so be sure to give them information well ahead of time.

But don’t leave it there. Contact your board members before the meeting and ask them if they have any questions about anything on the agenda or any of the material that you sent to them. Find out ahead of time what they need to know so when you get to the meeting, discussions can be shorter and you can get to votes on the matters faster.

And board members, there’s no value to wait until a meeting to test your manager and see what they know. Let them use the resources at their disposal on their team and ask all of your questions before the time of the meeting. Give the manager time to pull together information or do any needed research.

Bottom line, if managers solicit questions ahead of time from the board, and if the board members proactively ask their questions in advance, the chances are much better that the board will be prepared to make decisions more quickly at the meeting.