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Board Engagement: Part 4

Our Board Engagement Series is coming along nicely, and I truly hope that you’re gaining Value from this topic!

Today is all about Personal Capacity. Now this is a topic that is VERY RARELY voiced in most discussions on Board Engagement, but ignoring this concept can be most dangerous to our Board Members, and our agencies at large.

And I could easily argue that even if your Board systems and structures are solid, and everyone is sufficiently intrinsically motivated, it’s probably Personal Capacity that plays that greatest role in sustainable Board Engagement, or the lack thereof.

The fact is that our Personal Capacity, our ability to have the focus and energy to move things forward in our Board Service, once again isn’t a static concept: it changes yearly, daily, and sometimes even minute by minute.

Our Personal Capacity is impacted by life circumstances, our emotions and belief systems, and even the food that we eat!

So here are a few reflection questions for your Board Members to chew on:

Do I currently have/ anticipate having any major life changing events taking place in my life? (ie: marriage, separation/ divorce, career changes, moving to a new location, health concerns, financial challenges, family needs, etc). I’ve included a link of just some of the MANY circumstances that can directly impact our Personal Capacity: Major Life Changes - What life events control your life? (

If I’m honest with myself about my current Personal Capacity, how much time can I comfortably give towards my Board Service right now? ____hrs/ week or ____hrs/ month

Do I anticipate my Personal Capacity increasing or decreasing over the next 1-3 months? How will this impact my Board Service?

Life’s circumstances greatly affect how we see ourselves, our levels of stress, and how much energy we can put towards our desired goals in service of the agencies that we love so much. Giving ourselves the permission to take an honest, non- judgemental look at the situations we face/ anticipate facing, and opening dialogue for the Board to share these experiences together, is really the first step towards self- compassion, empathy and Engagement.

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