Parliamentary procedure enables the overall membership of an organization—expressing its general will through the assembly of its members—both to establish and empower an effective leadership as it wishes, and at the same time to retain exactly the degree of direct control over its affairs that it chooses to reserve to itself.
–Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (11th ed. 2011)
“Parliamentary procedure” refers to the application of parliamentary law and rules of order in the conduct of business in a deliberative assembly. The term includes not only the specific rules and principles, but also their application at all levels of organization and operation of a permanent society.
The term has become almost synonymous with “Robert’s rules,” and it is rare indeed to encounter someone who hasn’t heard of Robert’s rules. But it’s not rare at all for a lack of knowledge about rules of order to be at the heart of a wide range of meeting problems that run from simple inefficiencies in the conduct of business to acrimonious debate and disorderly clamor. Members who have invested their time in learning the rules and how they’re correctly applied become real assets to their organizations.
It is difficult to find another branch of knowledge where a small amount of study produces such great results in increased efficiency in a country where the people rule, as in parliamentary law.
-Henry M. Robert
If you want to empower your group to have efficient meetings where real business is taken care of without wasting members’ time, or if you want to empower yourself as a leader, you will benefit from learning the correct application of even just a few of the basic rules of parliamentary procedure. To get started, contact a professional parliamentarian.