How to Cope With Committee Conflicts

iStock_000004700105_ExtraSmallSo you’re in charge of the auction committee this year! There is a lot to do. For example:

  1. Solicit items
  2. Build your auction site
  3. Promote

Lucky for you, you’ve got a team of people to work with. There’s just one problem. They aren’t getting along. You’re keeping a positive attitude. Why can’t they?

In meetings you hear a lot of negativity. As much as you try to steer the conversation in a more positive direction, it just isn’t working. What do you do?

  • Get specific. Who is saying what and why? If you notice that one person on your team is always finding reasons not to solicit items, maybe she isn’t comfortable approaching donors. Item solicitation can be tricky for some people. Speak with her and find out if another role would suit her better. Maybe building the auction site would be right up her alley, since she can work on it from home at night. Or you may discover she’s great with graphics and can type 80 words a minute! It’s important to play to people’s strengths.
  • Identify where the conflicts lie. Personality clashes happen. Some people just don’t work well together. If you can identify who is butting heads you can work around that. There are lots of tasks to be done, so you can easily shift who is working on what. Chances are, if there’s a lot of conflict, everyone will be relieved by the adjustment. It’s important for people to feel good in their role and about who they’re working with.
  • Keep your focus. Everyone gets tired and stressed, and those two things combined breed complaints. We’ve all been in meetings where it’s a chorus of “I don’t’ have time”, “This isn’t working”, and “Why are we even doing this?” This is your chance to remind everyone that there is an important reason that you’re doing this! Don’t do this to berate anyone but to inspire them to keep up the good work. You can point out all the ways the money raised from this auction will help a cause you all care about. You may also want to have a night out as an auction team, and go grab some dinner and drinks or have nice brunch together. You deserve it for all your hard work. It’s important for people to feel appreciated and to have some fun!

We hope these tips will help you manage your auction committee more easily. Stay tuned for future posts with new tips like these!

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