As the leader of the board, the chairman’s role in managing disagreements between the board members is critical to ensuring the board operates effectively. Here are some tips on how a chairman can handle disagreements among the board:

Foster open communication:
The chairman should encourage board members to express their opinions and ideas openly and honestly. This helps ensure that disagreements are aired early and can be addressed before they become more significant issues.

Set ground rules for discussions:
The chairman should establish ground rules for discussions to ensure that all board members are heard, and the discussion remains respectful and focused. Ground rules may include no personal attacks, keeping comments brief and to the point, and allowing everyone to speak before moving on to the next topic.

Stay neutral:
It’s essential that the chairman remain neutral when managing disagreements. They should avoid taking sides or expressing their opinions unless necessary to move the discussion forward.

Seek common ground:
The chairman should try to identify areas of agreement and work with the board to find solutions that satisfy everyone’s concerns. This helps keep the discussion positive and productive.

Call for a vote:
If the disagreement cannot be resolved through discussion, the chairman should call for a vote. The decision should be made by a majority vote of the board members, and the chairman should ensure that the decision is respected and implemented.

Follow up:
After a decision has been made, the chairman should follow up to ensure that the decision is being implemented as intended and that all board members are satisfied with the outcome.

Overall, the chairman’s goal should be to ensure that the board operates efficiently and that all members feel heard and valued. Effective management of disagreements is critical to achieving this goal.

Advice about board disputes and tension

Advice on Board conflict from The Corporate Governance Institute

The Board of Director’s Handbook