Does communication with your board members leave them feeling like mushrooms – kept in the dark and covered with manure?
Board members’ not performing as expected is a constant complaint from nonprofit leaders.
My survey of nonprofit board members to solicit reasons why they don’t do what they’re supposed to do identified several factors that contribute to a lack of performance.
Chief among them was poor communication. In fact board members named communication-related issues as a primary cause of the most performance-inhibiting issues.
Examples of poor communication ranged from flawed timing to the feeling of being mislead.
Board members expressed frustration about lack of information, being caught by surprise, and not being listened to.
The seriousness of the need to improve communication with board members cannot be overstated.
Why? Because in any relationship, positive and effective communication is essential.
If your organization struggles with board member performance, reexamine your approach to communication.
Here are five actions for turning communication from poor to positive:
The range of examples board members cited regarding dissatisfaction with communication is an indication that this critical foundation for relationships merits periodic reassessment.
Don’t treat board members like mushrooms. Communicate effectively. Do your part to enable them to perform as you want them to.