Why Should I Round With My Board?
Rounding is a powerful leadership tactic focused on harvesting wins and eliciting actionable feedback. The idea of rounding comes to us from health care, as a long-standing, daily practice of doctors and nurses. Making the rounds is a way to build connections and gather information from focused two-way conversations in any context. Board rounding establishes genuine relationships. It deepens the bonds with your board members and builds authentic trust and emotional connections. Rounding captures important feedback for action, including information for rewards, recognition, and process development. It is an intentional, scheduled activity.
In nurturing relationships with your board, rounding helps your board members feel valued which in turn increases resilience and engagement. Rounding is powerful because it helps you meet needs and gain the opportunity to learn what is occurring in board members’ lives. It shows we have concern and care for board members. Rounding gives you the opportunity to harvest and share examples of where people are making a difference. Rounding affirms the high correlation between engagement results and quality outcomes.
Ask These Questions to Each Board Member
- Always start with a personal question to build rapport. (family, sports team, local event, upcoming holiday, vacation)
Then get more specific with your questions and drill down on needs.
- What’s working well for you in your role as a board member?
- Are there any individuals who have been especially helpful to you whom I could recognize on your behalf?
- Do you have the resources you need to do your job?
- Is there anything that we could do better?
How Do I Use the Rounding Protocol With My Board?
- Set a board rounding schedule to reach all board members. Goal of 3x per season (9x per year).
- Validate the process with a rounding tool to keep track of the conversations.
- Manage up, reward and 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.
We simply can’t achieve excellence
without attending to the emotional side of others in an organization.
Source: Maximize Performance: Creating a Culture for Educational Excellence
Laura Swann, Studer Education℠