Every board has likely experienced a problematic board member at one time or another. They can make board meetings long and stressful, and can cause a multitude of problems when it comes to quickly and effectively making decisions for the good of the whole community. Here are five signs that you have a problem board member on your hands.
A Board Member Who Talks More Than Listens
If you have a board member who consistently talks more than they listen, talks over other members, discounts everything that others are saying, or dominates the meeting, you may be looking at a problem board member. The ability to listen to other board members is a crucial strength for any leader, and refusing to listen or compromise can lead to problems down the road.
A Board Member Who Always Points the Finger
Refusing to take responsibility either as an individual or as a part of a team can be a warning sign of a problem board member. It takes humility and maturity to take responsibility for an error, and a board will not be able to make any decisions if it does not identify when it has made a mistake and come together to rectify the problem.
A Board Member Who Cannot Speak Kindly
Even the most agreeable board will have occasional disagreements. This is okay as disagreements help everyone to come to the decision that will best serve the HOA. However, everyone on the board must learn to disagree respectfully and kindly, without insulting other board members. An individual who has a habit of lashing out or speaking unkindly may be a problem board member.
A Board Member Who is Controlling
The best board members are those who know their job as part of leadership team, and do not try to do the job of everyone else. A person who has a difficult time in focusing on their role in the community while being overly concerned about the duties of other members, may become a problem in the future.
A Board Member Who is Absent
The ability to be present at meetings is crucial for effectiveness. If a board member is continually late or absent, this shows that the individual lacks the passion for their association, or that they are too busy to be effective at their position.
There are certain things that the board can do to help alleviate these problems. Establish a strict agenda and let everyone know that it will be followed carefully so as to eliminate any one person taking over the conversation. Give board members a chance to change their ways by having a kind conversation about the problem behavior. Above all, set a good example for how a board member should behave. It may not always be possible to control how others behave, but you can create a better board by being the best team member that you can and showing others how they can shine in their roles.