Dealing With Board Directors

Prevention is the best method to handle difficult board members. Make sure your agency’s board member goals are clear and they are able to integrate their vision with the organization. This will reduce the number of instances where an individual’s advice to a board member is not beneficial. If a problem does arise take action immediately and do not overlook any unacceptable behavior. Avoiding it will only make it worse.

Direct intervention is the first step, which is a one-on-1 meeting with the person who is in the middle of trouble. Be calm and professional but also clear and communicate your concerns clearly. If you’re not successful, try a group intervention with a board member who the board likes, or the chair. You might also review your agency’s Values Statement as well as other documents governing the organization for words that could be used to define acceptable how do you keep up with trends in your industry behavior, including respecting people and the courtesy.

Another option is to convince the person quit the board (ideally on their own, but, if required, by an unconvinced vote). This requires careful planning and preparation prior to the meeting or discussion. Prepare a thorough response to the major questions you’d like to discuss. Be assertive, but maintain an appropriate tone.

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