Building Effective Community Board Leadership Skills
At some point in life, most of us will find ourselves serving on some community board such as a parent/teacher board, a church board, a local service organization or club board, the city council board, the Extension Board, or even the Board of County Commissioners.
We find ourselves in these roles for a variety of reasons. Some we chose to embark upon and sometimes we land on a board because we are left holding the short straw, so to speak. Regardless of the reason for being on a board, we almost always find ourselves in the situation where we wish we had more information or we wish we had more training. Informed and committed board members are the key to healthy, effective boards and committees in our Johnson County communities. It is vital that board members do all they can to prepare themselves to be effective board members.
The keys to being an effective board member
Conducting effective meetings is a must in order to get business accomplished. It is vital that board members understand their roles and responsibilities as a board member, basics of parliamentary procedure, and strategies to make meetings more productive and effective.
Boards are often, and should be, made up of people from a variety of backgrounds, interests, skills, generations, and personalities. However, this can result in a variety of personality and work styles that can often lead to board conflict. Understanding your fellow board members and how to use conflict effectively and productively can make you a valuable board member.
Often times, board members with little background find themselves fundraising and managing funds for the group, and conducting legal business. Board members should explore a board’s options for raising and managing money. As we conduct business it is important that we understand the legal and ethical guidelines that we should operate within and these are often found in the articles of incorporation, bylaws, and policies of the group. These documents should be visited by the group on an annual basis or anytime new members come on board.
Establishing a common mission and vision for the board and planning priorities for the future are keys to the long term success of an organization. Board members with strategic planning skills are beneficial to any organization.
How to become a better board member
If civic engagement and community involvement are your interest we have an upcoming course you might be interested in.
Johnson County K-State Research and Extension is conducting a Community Board Leadership series designed to provide that basic training in all these skills for members of community-based boards. The trainings will be held at the Extension Office in Olathe on August 6, 13, 20, and 27, 2019. Each session will be from 6 to 8 pm.
“This has been a great course on working within a board. Loved the agenda and Roberts Rules information. The Conflict information is very helpful. The strategic planning was also very useful and I feel hopeful for helping flush out our board’s purpose!”Spring 2019 BLS participant
You can register online or contact Johnson County Extension director Tara Markley at 913-715-7012 for more information.