Dissenting Opinion

Committee people are passionate

The key to being a successful committee member lies in being able to deal with people who have a dissenting opinion to your own or to the majority of others on the committee.

People who volunteer their time as a committee member, do so because they care enough, and because they have a passion.

This passion can be a problem when the committee person is faced with criticism, or is subjected to views and opinions that are opposite to their own. In these circumstances, it all so easy for people to lose their head, take offence and say the wrong thing, regretfully.

The next thing that happens is that someone resigns and the organisation loses a volunteer that it did not need to lose.

Don't try to win every argument

Around the committee table, and even in conversation with others outside of the committee room, you will not win every argument. All committee members have the right to put their point of view, but not to exhaust the patience of others and to prolong the meeting needlessly.

The committee room is a place for democracy and if your point of view is not accepted, or you are on the losing side in a vote, then do not take it personally. In fact, think of it like this:

Avoid taking criticism personally

As a committee member you will also be subjected to criticism, and you might judge that much of this criticism is unfair and unwarranted. "How dare they say such bad things after all the effort you have put in", will be how you will feel. It is never a good idea to confront a person about some rumour that they have said something when in an angry, upset or annoyed state of mind. Firstly, the rumour may not be wholely true and secondly it is never a good idea to CONFRONT anybody anyway. Why get yourself into a potentially difficult situation?

If you do feel the need to settle your own mind on the matter, make a softly, softly approach to the person and simply ask them a question or two to clarify what you have heard they have said. You will find that the more personable you are in making the approach, the more likely they will retract any bad comments they have made, and the better they will think of you afterwards. In short, you win more friends and support the easy way.

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