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The ABC of PALMS reporting in BNI

by Richard Foulkes

Reading PALMS

In BNI, being able to read PALMS is important.

While the BNI PALMS report isn’t as hard to read as someone else’s actual palm, it isn’t as simple as ABC.

To recap why we have PALMS, two of our core values are Givers Gain®  and Accountability. These two core values set BNI apart from other types of networking groups and help our chapter to be successful. Recording data about our activity allows Accountability about who is practicing Givers Gain®  by doing the things we know makes them and our chapter successful. There are also intangible measures, we all appreciate those, but they are hard to measure.

Today I’m going to quickly explain what the BNI PALMS report shows and how, like your own palm, it can predict the future!


Firstly, let’s check the period this PALMS report covers. That is the From and To dates in the middle close to the top of the page.

This is what PALMS means:

P = the number of times a member has been Present

A = this number of times a member has been Absent without a substitute due to illness or something urgent preventing them attending. This should not be more than 3 times in a rolling 6-month period.

L = the number of times a member arrives Late after the meeting starts. This should be a very rare event due to circumstances outside a member’s control.

M = the number of times a member has missed a meeting due to a planned or unplanned major Medical absence or event. Up to 8 weeks is available. Medical Leave isn’t used for occasional sick days or short-term illnesses.

S = the number of times a member has sent a Substitute in their place. This should not be more than 3 in a 6-month period.

The VP records and enters these each week.


RGI are internal (for ourselves) Referrals Given to Members.

RGO are external (for others) Referrals Given to Members.

External referrals are regarded as having a greater value as it shows you trust another member with your reputation, with your friends, family, clients, and colleagues.

RRI & RRO are the same (Internal and Outside) but referrals you have Received.

The Rest

V = the numbers of first-time visitors you have invited. Should be 1 or more!

1-2-1 = the number of 1-2-1’s you have recorded. When recorded in the App it will record as a 1-2-1 for both members, therefore only 1 Member should record the 1-2-1.

TYFCB = is the amount of business you have generated for others, not TYFCB you have recorded for others.

CEU = Continuing Education Units. This is the amount of BNI Education you have done through BNI Business Builder, e.g., Leadership Team training or MSP training which can be recorded through the App.

CATS and Chapter Traffic Lights

CATS, or the Chapter Activity Tracking Report, gives a value to each of the activities recorded in PALMS. It’s more of a balanced score card of the PALMS for each member.

Chapter Traffic Lights are a ranking system that scores a chapter using the PALMS activity and ranks our chapter as Green, Yellow, Red or Grey and also ranks our chapters chapter strength relatively against other BNI chapters.

If the chapter would like to know more about these, I’ll let BNI know we would like an education on them.

“You can’t improve what you don’t measure.”  – Peter Drucker

As business owners, we are mostly competitive people who like to keep score and accept or welcome that accountability is a necessary part of business.

The PALMS reports help us improve our chapter and ourselves as well as compare ourselves to other chapters.  

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