Wednesday, February 2, 2011

BIG's Blog: Addressing the Fear!

In my last blog, I wrote about Catholic Boards’ roles and responsibilities. One of the challenges an organization faces once the roles and responsibilities are defined is FEAR. A board member’s idea of their responsibilities may be different than what is expected. Once a board member realizes the expectations are real, and that they will be held accountable by board leaders, how can the organization address the fears that may come from the board?

Statements such as, “I don’t want to ask for money” or, “This is not what I signed up for!” are reactions to the reality of board responsibilities.

The organization is responsible for helping the board members face these fears. Staff and leadership can help convert the board’s emotions into an opportunity for personal growth. A supportive relationship between staff, leadership and the board is critical to the success of the organization.

How can the organization address board challenges? Suggestions to consider:

Day retreats for the board that includes updates on the mission, “ask” training, sharing ideas and development opportunities.

Also, provide personal coaching for individual board members who are hesitant about sharing the mission with others. This may help the timid board member calm their nerves. Coaching may be provided by staff or an outside consultant.

I have witnessed and personally experienced organizations that took the time to address board fears. The organizations reaped the rewards and gained the respect of its board members.


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