Even if you’re the only executive in your association, you probably have a board to run things by, help with executive matters, and take a load off of you every now and then. Whether paid staff or volunteers, boards of all types, shapes, and sizes are likely to run into a conflict now and then.  Here are some of the most frequent conflicts we’ve heard about in the Small Staff Association space.

Problem solving with your association's board


The issue:  Communication Break Down

A possible solution: Meet face to face. In this digital world, it’s easy to lose tone, meaning, and even sometimes the fact of the matter at hand. A lot of times, all you need is to meet with someone face-to-face to hash out the issue.  If that’s impossible due to time or proximity, you could pump up your Association Management Software’s social community. Sometimes it’s not the message but the method if communication that is causing the break down.


The issue: Clashing personalities

A possible solution: Focus on projects. No matter how great everyone is or how hard everyone tries, the idea that everyone on a team is going to love everyone else is a bit outrageous. Personal differences aside, though, everyone has one goal: enhancing the association. Focus on specific projects and tasks that need to be completed to shift the attention away from a forum where personalities will have the opportunity to clash.


The issue:  Different visions

 A possible solution: Try to find a compromise, or bring it to a vote. There are likely a lot of different ways your association can go, and they might all be good visions or plans for your future. The simplest solution is to talk it out. If you’re still at an impasse, open up the conversation to your membership and take a vote.


The issue:  A stagnant board

 A possible solution: Recruit new blood, or change your meeting types. Business as usual can definitely get boring and lead to repetitive behavior. Shake things up! Something as simple as a change of venue from the same old conference room could make a huge difference and get the creative juices flowing. Also inviting new people into the board meetings could make a huge difference too. Worst case scenario is business as usual!


The issue: Members of the board aren’t quite as informed about the association’s issues

A possible solution: Get him or her further into the loop. It’s also a good idea to post some learning materials on your Association’s AMS or social media so the resources are readily available.


Hopefully those pretty standard conflicts won’t result in any major drama or setbacks for your association’s board. Problem solving is actually a very important skill for an association executive and is an incredibly valuable skill for future positions!