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Before you join that board …

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in Workplace Communication

Being asked to join the board of a hospital, charity or school certainly can boost the ego. But, to make sure you say “Yes” for the right reasons, ask these four questions, recommended by seasoned board members:

  1.  “What do I bring to the table?” Is it knowledge of your field, financial savvy or something else? If your experience resembles that of the board’s other members, decline and volunteer where you will make a difference.
  2. When will I know I’ve completed my job on the board?” You should be able to invest a year or two to reach very specific goals. Just “being there” will drain your time.
  3. What has the board accomplished in the last year, two years and five years?” Don’t join a board that takes up a lot of members’ time in meetings or retreats without accomplishing much.
  4. May I talk to three or four current members before I join?” Ask, “What difference can I make?” If a clear picture doesn’t develop, consider turning the invitation down.


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