Non-profits rarely engage in introspection. Conflicts, they think, are just something that happens. Often, they are dismissed at personality conflicts. Conflict is only a symptom of a deeper issue.
The deeper issue is mutual respect. When Staff and Board do not respect one another's contribution, it sets off a tremendous chain of events ever so slowly that shows up in negative interactions.
What is Respect?
Respect is how we think of other people's contribution. Yes, a thought. If anyone doesn't value or see the work that someone is doing as valuable as their own, then that's how they'll treat the person. Everyone has seen the behavior in action. You can feel it. On the hand, if someone respects everyone's contribution, then that is the way that person will behave towards everyone and everyone will feel valued and on board.
How is that Achieved between Non-profit Board and Staff?
Attitude. Everyone is important otherwise they shouldn't be there - volunteer, board member or staff member.
When everyone in a non-profit - voluteer, board and staff members - see each other's contributions as critical to achieving goals, that's when attitudes change. Those who won't change, will soon leave.
Where does this Lead to in Non-profits?
An attitude of partnership in a non-profit is invaluable. Everyone involved is a partner and treated accordingly. When partnership attitude takes hold, that's when the magic happens. The structures change. The processes and procedures change. Discussions change. And momentum starts taking hold where there was once dead air and lifelessness or tremendous conflict.
This approach in a non-profit is a choice. The people involved either want to achieve the organization's goals or not. They have a choice.
What will be your choice for your non-profit?
On Contract Only