ArLyne's Diamonds

A running commentary of ideas

Friday, December 04, 2015

Board of Directors – Handling Conflict

As you know, I’ve trained boards all over the country and written a board training book.  I decided the time has come to write the next edition of the book, and started interviewing senior board members to get their ideas as to how to expand the next edition to the book.

As I was talking about this with a gentleman recently, we started talking about some of the conflict he and his board members were experiencing when trying to hire the new Executive Director of their organization.  Apparently the interim director believes she should be the one hired to permanently be the executive – but in this organization one needs to be a certified minister in order to hold this position.  It’s not only in their by-laws, but its common practice in their church.

So, we were brainstorming about how to handle this problem.  He believed that she would not be voted in – and I suggested that instead of having to humiliate her publicly because of being out-voted, that he take her to lunch and tell her gently that she didn’t have a chance of winning the vote – asking her to take her name out of nomination.  In that way, tension will be avoided and “face” will be saved.

He loved the suggestion – and oh, by the way, it turned out to be the “free sample” that led to his wanting to hire me to train his board.

I really believe that the best way to handle most situations is to try to make it as comfortable (win/win) as possible for all the people involved.  Be helpful.  Be cooperative.  Don’t be combative.

So, what do you think?


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