Bonding with the Board: Board rounding at a glance



What is Rounding?

Rounding is an intentional, scheduled activity designed to elicit specific, actionable feedback.

Why Board Rounding?

  • The goal of rounding on board members is to capture important feedback for action, including information for reward and recognition and process improvement.
  • By regularly conversing with board members about their board role, and transparently taking action, leaders build trust, nurture relationships, and help members feel valued, which increases resilience and engagement.
  • There is a high correlation between engagement results and quality outcomes.

What Do I Ask When Rounding?

  • Opening question to build rapport– How is your family?
  • What is working well for you, in your role as a board member?
  • What could be working better? Do you have what you need to do your job?
  • Is there anything I can do to help?
  • Is there anyone who has been especially helpful to you that I can recognize on your behalf?

How Do I Use the Rounding Protocol?

  • Set a rounding schedule that is manageable and reaches all board members. Start with a goal of 3x per season (9 x per year).
  • Validate the process with a rounding log or other tool – keep track of the conversations.
  • Manage up and reward/recognize individuals. Make a call. Send thank you notes. Make a point of saying something when you see them. What gets recognized tends to get repeated.
  • Follow up and close the loop. Be forthright about what can be changed and what is not in your control.  Check back to see if the change is addressing the issue or concern.  Follow up is essential.
The best way to damage a relationship is to ask somebody for feedback, hear it, and do nothing with it.

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