A reader was in the midst of a very challenging and upsetting situation and asked for an effective way to handle it:
“Dear Bob, the organization I belong to used to send plants and flowers to those members who were ill. Although the money is there to continue doing this, they have decided to stop. I have been invited to the next board meeting to tell them why we should keep this very important practice going. I don’t think we should do away with it at all. I am at a loss of the proper words to say to the board members next month as to why we should continue. Can you help me?”
Thank you for your question. While I certainly don’t have any “magic bullet” that I can offer you in terms of what to say, my suggestions would be to:
#1 Understand why they feel this way? What are their reasons; individually and as a group? Unless you know their reasons, then anything you say during your meeting is based on premise which you won’t have any way of knowing is correct or incorrect. You can determine this simply by asking them. Contact them individually and let them know that while you hope to be able to answer their concerns about this matter, you can’t do that without knowing exactly what their concerns are.
#2 Prepare your presentation in such a way that you honor them, their egos, and their intent. The chances are excellent that their reason is for what they believe is the good of the organization. So, when you begin by acknowledging that, it is a beginning that puts you all on the same side as opposed to positioning this as though you are adversaries.
I hope this helps, and I wish you the very best of success.
Meanwhile, my friends…any thoughts, ideas or suggestions I might have left out?