Dealing With Board Directors

Dealing With Board Directors

The best method to deal with directors who are difficult to work with is to prevent them from happening. Ensure that your agency’s objectives for board members are clear and they can blend their own vision with that of the organisation. This can reduce the number of instances where a board member’s advice is counterproductive. If a problem occurs be quick to address it and don’t put off bad behavior. Refusing to act will only make the situation worse.

Direct intervention is the first step, which is a one-on-1 meeting with the person who is making trouble. Be professional and calm, but also direct and express your concerns clearly. If that doesn’t work, try an intervention in a group with a board member who the board is comfortable with and/or the chair. It may be beneficial to go through the values statement of your organization or other governing documents for words that could be used as a guideline for acceptable behavior, for example, treating people with respect.

Another alternative is to ask for someone to leave the board (ideally in a voluntary manner however, if needed it can be done through a vote of confidence). This will require careful planning and preparation in advance of the meeting or discussion. Prepare a detailed answer to the most important issues you wish to discuss. Make sure that your tone is respectful but firm – do not be afraid to be assertive.

dealing with board directors

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