Parliamentary Procedure is a Sales Tool

Robert's Rules of Order was compiled by an engineer.
"Henry Martyn Robert was an engineering officer in the regular Army. Without warning he was asked to preside over a public meeting being held in a church in his community and realized that he did not know how. He tried anyway and his embarrassment was supreme. This event, which may seem familiar to many readers, left him determined never to attend another meeting until he knew something of parliamentary law." (Robert's Rules of Order website)
Building product salesmen, like engineers, ought to be prepared to participate in "deliberative assemblies," to use Robert's elegant phrase for meetings where a group considers and democratically decides on a course of action or policy. As Robert's found, being able to conduct a business meeting effectively is a form of service to an organization. It can also enhance an individual's reputation and afford leadership opportunities that can aid one's career.

I am reflecting on this following the recent Annual Meeting of the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI). A simple motion from the floor devolved into confusion that delayed the meeting and frustrated members. This would not have been the case if the meeting had been assisted by an able parliamentarian or if the members had a better understanding of the rules of order.

Rules of order are similar in function to MasterFormat's Division 01 - General Requirements; both describe administrative and procedural requirements to be followed in order to achieve a goal. Conducting a meeting is far easier than managing a construction project.
"The application of parliamentary law is the best method yet devised to enable assemblies of any size, with due regard for every member’s opinion, to arrive at the general will on the maximum number of questions of varying complexity in a minimum amount of time and under all kinds of internal climate ranging from total harmony to hardened or impassioned division of opinion." (Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, 10th ed., Introduction, p. xlviii)
While CSI's meeting was tumultuous, the members were still able to approve the motion in question, with a substantial majority voting in the affirmative.

Familiarity with parliamentary procedures will enhance your participation in professional and trade associations and committees and in community affairs. To learn parliamentary procedures, I recommend reading Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised IN BRIEF, a clear, concise, and correct guidebook that is complete enough for use most meetings. I also recommend The A-B-C's of Parliamentary Procedures, a pamphlet that explains basic rules and is priced so that copies can be affordably provided to all members of an organization.

Roberts worked with the US Army Corps of Engineers, eventually becoming its Chief of Engineers. Among his many civil engineering works were improvements to waterways. Yet his greatest achievement was to improve the flow of group decision making and to drain the swamps of debate. It is altogether fitting that contemporary members of the construction industry follow his lead.