Difficult board members can present a major challenge to effectiveness and cohesion of the board. While it may be tempting to let the problem slide in the hope that the person will mend their ways or leave when their term ends it isn’t a wise approach. It’s more likely that this behaviour will continue and become more noticeable. This will have a negative impact on the other board members, making it more difficult to perform their responsibilities.
Direct intervention is one way to address difficult board members. Invite the person to a meeting with the chairperson, or a person they trust and who will listen to them to discuss the reasons behind their behavior. Find out what drives their behavior, such as the feeling that they are not appreciated or heard by other board members. It is also crucial to have a clear plan of action in mind, such as the behavior they are displaying needs to change so that the conversation does not turn into an argument or a confrontation.
It is often beneficial to bring this issue to the attention of other board members during a group meeting in the event that the person is not brought to heel in a private conversation. This is a fantastic opportunity for the chairperson to show that they value everyone’s input and are not afraid to confront challenging behavior. It is also crucial to keep track of what was said in order to inform people on any new information when you return to them.