Communicating with Established Board Members

Communication within the board room is essential to the success of your credit union. While it may be easy to overlook the communication aspect of being a member of the board, it’s one of, if not the most, important aspects of being part of the board of directors. With today’s modern technology at your disposal, you can communicate with your fellow board members and key executives from anywhere at any time. 

When a board of directors has strong communication in the boardroom, trust is built, brand Communicating with Established Board Membersidentity is established, decision-making is seamless, and the credit union’s reputation remains intact. On the other hand, lack of proper communication can lead to serious issues throughout an organization. An existing poor situation can be made significantly worse by lack of communication. 

While it’s essential that CEOs and the board of directors have ample communication, it is also important to have strong communication between board members. In order to cultivate an environment that breeds success, communication is key! 

The best way to enhance communication within the boardroom is to prioritize camaraderie and positive dynamics.

Boardroom culture, like company culture, is a strong indicator of a company’s success. Positive boardroom culture encourages open and transparent communication. All perspectives and opinions should be welcomed and encouraged to ensure all members feel heard.

When disagreements occur, which are bound to, it’s important that the members accept opposing opinions with an open mind. While it may not be the final decision, having an array of opinions leads to growth for the board members, as well as the company as a whole. 

It’s also important to note that all disagreements that occur should be kept private between board members. When a decision is made, the board members should display a united front, regardless of their opinion. A strong board of directors fosters a strong credit union.

The board chair is an important player in creating a strong board of directors, as they help guide how tensions resolve. The board chair should strive toward creating an inclusive environment that encourages participation from all members, and requires respect on all fronts. 

How can new board members bridge the gap between more experienced members?

Most boards of directors likely include a variety of members that come from diverse backgrounds. Some board members may have been on the board for years while others have only recently assumed the role. Sometimes more experienced board members tend to see the new members in a less-respected view. While this is a common occurrence, it should be strongly discouraged. 

As a newer member, it’s important to constantly pursue direct communication with more tenured members. Get to know your more experienced peers outside of the boardroom. Getting to know one another outside of a professional setting will open the door to understand their motivations, values, and details of their past experience. This will likely help you understand the meaning behind their personal opinions and the decisions that they make.  

As a whole, the board of directors should always remember the purpose of the board of directors— to make good decisions for the credit union.

It’s essential that the board recognizes and accepts that despite the challenges that come with decision-making, the central goal of all members is to help the credit union succeed. Members need to participate in conversations without ego and with an open mind in order to prioritize what’s best for the credit union as a whole. 

With this in mind, board members should welcome constructive criticism, challenge their own and others’ assumptions, and hold themselves and the executives accountable. Boards run most efficiently when all members are engaged and active in the decision-making process. 

Sometimes the best and simplest way to encourage community within the boardroom is to gather outside of it! Informal gatherings can serve as the perfect opportunity for board members to get to know one another on both a personal and professional level. As previously stated, this will help members to better understand one another, and it creates a more respectful environment in the boardroom.