What does “Best Practices” Mean? “A method or technique that hasconsistently shown results superior tothose achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark” http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/best- practice.html#ixzz1wTfV63i0
Leadership-Best Practices My favorite concepts from the “Change is Good”Video & how we can apply them to board leadership: “Forget for Success”-Don’t think about the ways that things have been done in the past….be innovative and don’t be afraid to embrace bold ideas Focus on Strengths-Be proud of the strengths that you and your fellow board members bring to the organization
Leadership-Best Practices Simplify your message-FOCUS on your mission Let your actions speak-BE the voice of your organization everywhere in the community Celebrate success-use every opportunity you can to share the news of your organization’s successes Measure Results-”what gets measured, gets improved”
Leadership Best Practices The Board of Directors should provide leadership for the organization Roles, responsibilities, and powers are usually outlined in bylaws Members should fully understand their roles and responsibilities Members have diverse backgrounds but share common goals
Leadership Best Practices Every organization should have a formal Board Policy Manual Board Members should be aware of current policies Volunteer-Be a part of your organization’s events. Don’t just show up for meetings once a month Look out for the best interest of the organization
Leadership Best Practices The Board of Directors should foster a transparent, consistent, and accountable culture Always have your financial records audited by an outside agency Focus on results. What is your mission? How can you measure progress? Understand the importance of fresh perspectives Develop a conflict of interest policy Documentation: Minutes, notes, receipts, handbooks, presentations
Leadership Best Practices Stay “Mission Driven”. What is our mission? Maintain consistency Be strategic. Spend your time wisely. Focus on the things that are important. Continuously review your Board of Directors’ best practices; evaluate your board’s performance and effectiveness Board members represent the organization within the community
Leadership Best Practices Annually review your organization’s mission Board orientation-continuing education Report on programs and services & track progress Actively solicit input from the community Represent the organization to government, business, other agencies, funders, and the community at large Support healthy and productive relationships throughout the organization
Leadership Best Practices A strategic plan is guided by your organizational mission Well-designed, effective committees Know your fellow board members-foster a culture of cohesion and group vitality How else can we demonstrate exceptional leadership within our organization?
Leadership Best Practices Ways To Increase Your Success As A Board Member Attend all meetings of the board and committees on which you serve. Come prepared to discuss the issues and business to be addressed at scheduled meetings, having read the agenda and all background material. Work with and respect the opinions of peers who serve this board, and to leave personal prejudices out of all board discussions. Always act for the good of the organization and represent the interests of all people served by this nonprofit.
Leadership Best Practices Represent this organization in a positive and supportive manner at all times. Observe the parliamentary procedures and display courteous conduct in all board, committee and task force meetings. Avoid conflict of interest between my position as a board member and my personal life. This includes using your position for the advantage of friends and business associates. If such a conflict does arise, declare that conflict before the board and refrain from voting on matters in which you have conflict.
Best Practices: Communication Effective communicationmakes your meetings more productive
Best Practices: Communication What NOT to do: Barriers to CommunicationThomas Gordon’s “dirty dozen” of Communication Spoilers: Criticizing: Making a negative evaluation of the other person, her actions, or attitudes. “You brought it on yourself—you’ve got nobody else to blame for the mess you are in.” Name-calling: “Putting down” or stereotyping the other person “What a dope!” “Just like a woman….” “Egghead.” “You hardhats are all alike.” “You are just another insensitive male.” Diagnosing: Analyzing why a person is behaving as she is; playing amateur psychiatrist. “I can read you like a book—you are just doing that to irritate me.” “Just because you went to college, you think you are better than I.”
Best Practices: Communication Praising Evaluatively: Making a positive judgment of the other person, her actions, or attitudes. Ordering: Commanding the other person to do what you want to have done. Threatening: Trying to control the other’s actions by warning of negative consequences that you will instigate
Best Practices: Communication Moralizing: Telling another person what she should do. “Preaching” at the other. Excessive/Inappropriate Questioning: Closed-ended questions are often barriers in a relationship; these are those that can usually be answered in a few words— often with a simple yes or no. “When did it happen?” “Are you sorry that you did it?” Advising: Giving the other person a solution to her problems. “If I were you, I’d sure tell him off.” Diverting: Pushing the other’s problems aside through distraction. “Don’t dwell on it, Sarah. Let’s talk about something more pleasant.”
Best Practices: Communication Logical argument: Attempting to convince the other with an appeal to facts or logic, usually without consideration of the emotional factors involved. “Look at the facts; if you hadn’t done____, we could have done_____”. Reassuring: Trying to stop the other person from feeling the negative emotions she is experiencing. “Don’t worry, it is always darkest before the dawn.” “It will all work out OK in the end.”Bolton, Robert (2009-11-24). People Skills (p. 16). Simon &Schuster, Inc..
Best Practices: Communication What NOT to do? Lack of patience Poor behavior or “acting out” Not “seeing the forest for the trees” Personal or hidden agendas Getting stuck in alliances and coalitions regardless of the issue Lack of ground rules Ways of speaking to other board members that are hurtful or close down communication
Best Practices: Communication (Lecturing, chastising, threatening, bullying, etc.) Competition, turf, fairness, zero-sum games, winners and losers Too much talking, not enough listening Too little leadership and skills building Disengagement from community“Effective Board Building”, by Phillip Boyle
Best Practices: CommunicationWhat do these “don’ts” lead to? Unsatisfying communication Diminished trust, respect, acceptance, tolerance Increased stress Loss of community respect, difficulty getting things accomplished Lose sight of Purpose
Best Practices: Communication WHAT TO DO: LISTEN-don’t just “hear”: A study of persons of varied occupational backgrounds showed that 70 percent of their waking moments were spent in communication… Communications 9% Writing 45% 16% Reading Talking 30% Listening
Best Practices: Communication Unfortunately, even at the purely informational level, researchers claim that 75% of oral communication is ignored, misunderstood, or quickly forgotten.
Best Practices: Communication Robert Bolton, People Skills author describes threelistening skill clusters for enhancing communications:Attending Skills: A posture ofinvolvement, appropriate body motion, eyecontact, and non-distracting environmentFollowing Skills: Door Openers, MinimalEncourages, Infrequent Questions, Attentive SilenceReflecting Skills: Paraphrasing, ReflectingFeelings, Reflecting Meanings, Summative Reflections
Best Practices: CommunicationMeetings are central to an organizational board’sfunctioning. They can also breed arguments and longdiscussions that lead nowhere and fail to produceresults.
Best Practices: CommunicationMAKE YOUR MEETINGS MORE EFFECTIVE: Ask Open-Ended Questions: this can help members to identify their own solutions to problems Ask for specifics Use writing as a communication tool Turn “US” and “THEM” into “WE” Listen attentively and acknowledge Establish realistic expectations Don’t pressure others to see things your way, but rather to be responsible for their own actions. “Effective Board Building”-Philip Boyle
Best Practices: Communication MAKE YOUR MEETINGS MORE EFFECTIVE: State objectives at the start of the meeting, follow your agenda Make sure everyone knows they will have a chance to speak Begin with questions related to the task Periodically check to see you are on task
Best Practices: Communication Don’t reinforce or explore off-task remarks Use close-ended questions to address off-task remarks, then tactfully ask the person who has made it to relate their comment to the task at hand Ask how to improve the next meeting, then incorporate one new idea Summarize and reflect ideas MODEL desired behaviors
Best Practices: Communication Engage all board members Restrict dominating individuals Encourage honest search for consensusPhilip Boyle: Effective Board Building Creating andMaintaining a High-Performance and High-SatisfyingGoverning Board
Closing Thoughts on CommunicationQuestions to ask ourselves: Are we clear about our purpose? How satisfied are we with our communication processes? Do disagreements become personal? Do we share responsibility for leading our board? Are we treating each other fairly?
THANK YOU RACHEL WEBERRACHEL@RACHELWEBER.US 575.937.9000