executive board director dance

The Executive Board Director Tango

When was the last time you engaged in a one-on-one meeting with board members, other than your board chair? It’s crucial to recognize that a board member’s responsibility is to connect the Board Director to their network. Without knowing, liking, and trusting you, they won’t readily introduce you to their contacts.

Referring to this as a tango is apt because it’s a collaborative effort. While you can tango solo (maybe in your kitchen on a Friday night?), it lacks entertainment value. Achieving smoothness demands both dancers to pay attention, anticipate moves, collaborate, and relish the process.

I hope you regularly (weekly, to be precise) have meetings with your board chair. Whether it’s over the phone, via Zoom, a stand-up, or walking meeting (I love these!), what truly matters is their regularity and the presence of an agenda.

If you need ideas on what to discuss, shoot me an email, and I’ll send you a template!

Reconnecting with the Executive Board Director

Now, how do you go about building that rapport? Here are some suggestions:

1. First and foremost, meet with your board members. Ideally, prioritize listening over talking. These individuals have earned their place on your board and continue to contribute because of their valuable skill sets. Take the opportunity to delve into their skills and strengths and understand how these assets are actively supporting both you and your organization’s mission.

2. Now, meet your board members on their own turf. Are they enthusiasts for a cup of joe and casual conversation? Perhaps they prefer the social ambiance of Happy Hour. Alternatively, they might be inclined to share the lunch hour—do they fancy trying out the latest café or do they prefer bringing their own lunch? Connecting with your board can be as straightforward as a phone call.

3. Make it easy, but most importantly, make a commitment. Building these relationships doesn’t occur automatically; it demands a bit of time and effort. Fortunately, it’s not overly complicated, and you won’t need a documented process or policy (for once! Phew!) to facilitate the process.

Do you struggle to connect with board members or need a few ideas to get your mojo started? Schedule a no-charge consultation- 30 mins via Zoom  or phone- and we’ll work together to get you moving on the nonprofit dance floor!

schedule a 30 minute call with Kari about your nonprofit