For the most part we hope for happy board members, happy executives, and delighted members. That’s the ideal, however sometimes that doesn’t work. When there’s a changing of the guard and a new employee comes on, for example, long-established board members can run them through the ringer double-checking work, being a little over-critical, and asking a lot of questions.
Rather than feel like you’re the subject of your association’s own version of “Rear Window” there are ways to run through the analytical gauntlet without getting frustrated or overwhelmed.
1) Be honest. Brutally honest, if necessary. They’ll tell you if you’re sharing too much information.
2) Rather than get defensive about what feels like your work being second-guessed, acknowledge that you and the person criticizing your work share a deep concern for the well-being of the association.
3) Open up communication: find out what he or she is looking for and the best way to get it.
4) Work together and consult association veterans at first. They’ll help establish trust in you and hopefully they’ll cut the reigns soon!
5) Enact change slowly so as not to alarm anyone. There are few things more harrowing than a new person riding in and upsetting “what has always worked.
6) Be optimistic! A positive attitude is contagious.
Remember that all new positions take some adjustment. It may be awhile before you settle in fully or you’re embraced into the “inner circle.” Many associations are a labor of love for the long-invested leaders and board! Keep your chin up. You were hired for a reason!