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Blog > Board members: how effective are you? Take our self-assessment.

Board members: how effective are you? Take our self-assessment.

posted on 7:48 AM, July 4, 2017
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So, you've joined a board of directors. Thank you for stepping up!

How is it going? Are you being as effective as you can be? How do you know? Try this board member's self-assessment to find out. [1]

Circle the response that best reflects your opinion. Be honest - you can't improve if you mislead yourself.

The rating scale for each statement is:  Strongly Disagree (1); Disagree (2); Maybe or Not Sure (3); Agree (4); Strongly Agree (5).

1.

I am aware of what is expected of me as a board member.

1

2

3

4

5

2.

I have a good record of meeting attendance.

1

2

3

4

5

3.

I read the minutes, reports and other materials in advance of our board meetings.

1

2

3

4

5

4.

I am familiar with what is in the organization’s by-laws and governing policies

1

2

3

4

5

5.

I frequently encourage other board members to express their opinions at board meetings.

1

2

3

4

5

6.

I am encouraged by other board members to express my opinions at board meetings.

1

2

3

4

5

7.

I am a good listener at board meetings.

1

2

3

4

5

8.

I follow through on things I have said I would do.

1

2

3

4

5

9.

I maintain the confidentiality of all board decisions.

1

2

3

4

5

10.

When I have a different opinion than the majority, I raise it.

1

2

3

4

5

11.

I support board decisions once they are made even if I do not agree with them.

1

2

3

4

5

12.

I promote the work of our organization in the community whenever I have a chance to do so

1

2

3

4

5

13.

I stay informed about issues relevant to our mission and bring information to the attention of the board.

1

2

3

4

5

14.

(Create your own)

______________________________________________________

1

2

3

4

5

Add together the total of the numbers you have circled.

If your total is 40 or more:

Excellent! You are likely contributing very effectively to your board. They are lucky to have you. Perhaps you could consider running for chair. The board could likely benefit from your leadership.

If your total is between 28-39:

Your board performance is likely satisfactory. Good for you for being normal! Leadership is a complex endeavour which takes a lifetime to master.

If your total is below 27:

You have a lot to learn about being an effective member of a board of directors. If you are on a board, I assume you really care about your organization. Every organization needs volunteers to do a big variety of jobs. Maybe your talents would be better used elsewhere in the organization.

What's the next step?

Look at the questions where you got low scores. Those are the places you could focus on, to improve your effectiveness. Focus on one thing at a time and let someone else know that is your focus. Ask them to give you honest (and kind!) feedback on how you are progressing against your goal.

Want to learn more about contributing effectively to a board of directors? Come to our upcoming professional development sessions.

Volunteer Ottawa offers a comprehensive suite of courses related to governance in the social sector. Click here for more information, and to register. Subscribe to our Event RSS Feed to be among the first to know when a new workshop is added to the schedule.

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Related post:

[1] G. MacDonald, "Board Self-Evaluation Tool - Version III," 2013. [Online]. Available: http://www.governinggood.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Board-Self-Evaluation-Tool-Version-III.docx.
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