We give each other grace
Boards debate ideas and options and must deal with difficult decisions. Without grace toward one another and each other's viewpoints, conflict can create animosity and relational issues. Grace allows us to wade in and speak truthfully in a context of peace.
We speak the truth as we understand it
Unless we share what is actually on our minds, issues cannot be properly discussed, and options are left unaddressed. Too many board members are unwilling to speak candidly in meetings and end up talking about the issues elsewhere or living with frustration. Grace allows candid dialogue. We are responsible for sharing the truth as we understand it.
We show patience toward one another especially when we disagree
Disagreements are inevitable on a board. In fact, if there was no disagreement, a board would not be necessary. It is in the confluence of opinions, options and ideas that the best decisions are made. But getting to those great ideas requires patience with one another.
We listen carefully
The best board members are those who listen carefully and thoughtfully to others. Wisdom cannot be mined without careful listening and evaluation. The best board members are those who thoughtfully listen. When they speak others tend to listen.
We meet without a personal agenda
Boards exist for the good of the organization and its mission. Decisions are not about us or getting our way. It is what is best for the organization and its mission. Board members who must have their own way hurt the work of the board and often the organization itself.
We take a humble posture
Humility is at the heart of all good leadership. Our leadership is not about us and we do not possess all wisdom. The best leadership comes from humble leaders and board members who believe that the best decisions are corporately made. Humble board members learn at each meeting. Prideful members are simply focused on their own agenda.
We engage in robust dialogue without hidden agendas or personal attacks
Robust dialogue is the coinage of good boards. The ability to speak truth, disagree, talk through issues and even be emotional or passionate about an issue. This is healthy with two caveats: No personal attacks - it is not about people but about the mission; and no hidden agendas but only honest dialogue.
TJ Addington (Addington Consulting) has a passion to help individuals and organizations maximize their impact and go to the next level of effectiveness. He can be reached at email@example.com.
"Creating cultures of organizational excellence."