Eli Mina Consulting
  Building better decision making teams and leaders

Interactive Training Programs

You may consider specialized in-house programs to address the following needs:

  • Pre-election workshops: Training for potential candidates for public office, exploring the myths and realities about serving in public office, so they can make an informed decision on whether or not to submit their nomination papers.

  • Post-election workshops: Training for newly elected officials, to set the stage for a positive and well focused term of office. Topics include meetings, rules of order and effective decision making, to help everyone become aware of positive habits that should be embraced and potentially damaging habits that should be avoided.

  • Mid-Term Board review/evaluations: Working with a Board/Council and administrative staff, to evaluate the decision making body, the Chair, individual members, meetings, the relationship with the administration, and the relationship with the community.

  • Problem Solving sessions: Working with a Board/Council and/or Staff team which is facing internal difficulties, to facilitate honest and direct discussions about "the elephant in the room", identify the root causes of difficulties, and develop potential solutions.

  • Parliamentary Training for Staff Advisors: Working with professional advisors to Boards/Councils (Corporate Secretaries, Municipal Clerks, Secretary/Treasurers, etc.), to help them provide correct advice despite adverse or hostile conditions. Areas include parliamentary procedure (rules of order) and effective decision making.

Below are two sample outlines to consider. Please contact us to design your own customized in-house sessions for elected members and administrative staff.


 Building Better Decision-Making Bodies

This workshop will help you achieve excellence in decision-making and conduct efficient, inclusive and well focused meetings. The session builds on Eli Mina's book "101 Boardroom Problems and How to Solve Them" and, in part, on "Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised."

Specific topics may include:

  • Principles of group decision making: substantive issues & process issues;
  • Achieving knowledge-based decisions: What helps and what doesn't;
  • Solving boardroom problems: short tempers, pre-determined votes, electronic distractions;
  • Core principles for debates in meetings (a risk management perspective);
  • Shared responsibility (Roles of the Chair and Members in upholding the process);
  • "The numbers game:" Quorum, majority, tie votes, abstentions (myths to be aware of);
  • Dealing constructively with tough issues and differences of opinion;
  • Consensus versus majority decision-making (board/council "solidarity" );
  • Balancing organizational interests versus constituency interests (the "two-hats dilemma" );
  • Confidentiality and "in-camera" meetings: Balancing transparency versus risk management;
  • Conflict of interest guidelines and procedures;
  • Flawed interactions between elected members and staff;
  • Flawed interactions with the community;
  • A code of conduct for Board/Council members; and
  • Evaluating the Board/Council, the Chair, each Member, and the CEO and Management.

 Robert's Rules of Order - Demystified

In this session we discuss the practical application of parliamentary procedure in meetings. The session will help you use rules sensibly and intelligently. Learn to balance the need for efficiency with the need for a safe environment, an inclusive debate, and informed decisions.

Specific topics may include:

  • Core principles of Parliamentary Procedure;
  • When rules of order help and when they don't (e.g.: motions `on the fly');
  • Roles of the Chair, Members & Administrative Staff in enforcing meeting rules;
  • Points of order: when to raise them and when to accept imperfections in meetings;
  • When motions are needed and when not; unanimous consent procedure;
  • Hierarchy of governing documents: legislation, bylaws, parliamentary authority;
  • Quorum, majority, tie votes, abstentions, conflicts of interest, proxies;
  • Chair's debating and voting rights;
  • Open and closed ("in-camera" ) meetings;
  • Rules of debate and decorum, closing debate ("Calling the question" );
  • Processing Main Motions and amendments;
  • Processing motions to refer, postpone, "table" ;
  • Procedures to re-visit previous decisions (reconsider, amend or rescind, renewal);
  • Agendas and time management; Consent agendas;
  • Minutes: What should be included and what should be excluded (options); and
  • Do's and Don'ts for advisors on Parliamentary Procedure (Parliamentarians)

 Supporting Successful Meetings

Supporting meetings can be a demanding and complex job. It starts with preparing agendas, scripts, reports, and resolutions, continues with logistical details, ends with producing minutes, and then it starts over again with the next meeting. This workshop provides management, advisors, and administrative staff with tools and ideas to effectively support meetings of their elected members. Specific topics may include:

Specific topics may include:

  • Fundamental principles for debates and staff's roles in implementing them;
  • Preparing meeting agendas for open meetings and closed meetings;
  • Drafting motions/resolutions for the group's consideration;
  • Drafting an overall meeting script plus ad-hoc scripts for the Chair;
  • Preparing reports, presenting them, and taking tough questions from elected members;
  • Providing rules of order expertise on issues like voting, motions, amendments, 'tabling', etc.
  • Taking minutes during meetings (three content options);
  • Providing clarifications on the minutes approval process and its impacts;
  • Clarifying on the impacts of access to information and privacy issues on agendas and minutes;
  • Serving as an effective advisor and building a solid rapport with the Chair and the group.

 Additional Titles or Topic Areas for In-House Training:

"Serving on Local Government: Myths versus Reality" (for potential candidates)

"We've Got to Stop Meeting Like This" (or: Making Meetings Work Better)

"Presiding with Finesse" (or: Being a Stellar Chair)

"Do I need to Know Rules of Order to Make Good Decisions?"

"Talking about the Elephant in the Room" (Organizational Dispute Resolution)

"Board/Council Reviews & Evaluations"


To schedule a guest speaker or a hands-on in-house training program,
send us an e-mail, or phone 604-730-0377.

Eli Mina Consulting | Email eli@elimina.com | Subscribe to Newsletter | 604-730-0377