Post 3- How to convene your PBD 

Slider Facilitation and WorkshopsIn my last post, I wrote about establishing a personal board of directors (PBD). But, once you’ve got your board on board, how do you manage the logistics?  How often will you meet; how do you use the time; what are the rules of engagement and agreements that will be important for success?

Here’s How It Works for My PBD: In our first meeting, we established several rules of engagement and agreements in order to acknowledge what was important for each of and in service to the whole group.  We determined it would work best if we met via skype once every two weeks, at the same day and same time.  On each call, we focus on one person, based on an order of rotation that we determined when the group first formed.  We call the one with the “mic,” the “Convener.”

The Convener sends a reminder email to the group and he/she also brings the topic with which they’d like our help, feedback, and insights. Then, there is a mix of questions, reflections and suggestions based on what we’ve heard and what intelligence we are bringing to the Convener’s topic from our own experiences.

Suggestions for logistical rules of engagement:

  • Create regularly scheduled calls that are entered in to everyone’s calendar.
  • Attendance is important so if someone can’t make it, they let us know.
  • If it’s your turn to convene and you can’t make it, follow up with the person who’s after you in the queue until you reach someone who is available to “take the mic” and use his/her turn as the Convener.
  • Make this appointment a priority and schedule your other appointments around this recurring one.
  • Treat this time as sacred. Whether it is your turn to convene or not, trust you will receive the perfect gifts by giving your attention to what is happening with yourself and others no matter the topic.
  • Commit to what is possible through being there.

The PBD is a place to ask for and receive the ever important “accountability” to yourself and others. As an example, our Convener asked for accountability today by requesting that a couple of us be his “thinking partners” for strategy and to create a tactical approach for the idea he brought to the board.

We’ve all at one time or another offered our connections and our time after the call to follow up and continue the dialogue offline. I truly appreciate how organically these creations occur and the commitment we all feel based on our unique bond.  Growing this bond of creatively and trust for your newly formed PBD involves designing your shared set of agreements to each other as part of this partnership.

Suggestions as to what the agreements might include:

  • Listen first for understanding of the Convener’s topic.
  • Reflect back what you believe you heard.
  • Curiosity vs. Judgment – Ask open-ended questions about how your board member is thinking, acting, and making decisions.
  • Remember that you don’t really know what is best for someone else.  Give the convener the space to come to his/her own conclusions. We are creative beings therefore, much more likely to support what we create.

Our meetings are supportive and our feedback is direct and on point. Our conversation is honest and more committed to truth than to saying what the Convener wants to hear. It’s a place and space to hear what they need to hear to affirm and to reveal their blind-spots; to hold their hand and walk them out of the dark and eventually, when they are ready, into the light.

On this morning’s call we all acknowledged our convener’s joy and light, but we have also been with them in the depth of the dark night of the soul. We are not afraid to go into the darkness with them because we know that ultimately this too shall pass.

This relationship is one where the giving and the receiving is one. Give yourself the gift of a PBD. You’ll be even more successful for it.  Espavo!