Managing your advisory board: How to fire an adviser

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Since you've read about what a powerful tool an advisory board can be for a mom, you know how important it is to have one for yourself. You know who your advisers are and you rely on them for love, support, and great advice. Life is good. Until its not.
The unthinkable happens. Someone violates your trust and breaks the rules of the advisory board. It sucks, mama.
It happened to me once, too. It took me a little while to process what happened and decide what to do. I never had to fire an adviser before and didn't really know I could. The good news is that because I've had to do it, I know how to help you if you ever find yourself in my unfortunate situation.

Do you really need to fire them?

Sometimes its hard to be certain if a firing is warranted. Let me help you. I've got my serious face on so listen up!
If someone has
  • lied to you
  • shared personal information without permission
  • omitted pertinent and relevant information with the intent to deceive you
  • shamed you
  • verbally or emotionally abused you
  • violated a professional contract
  • broken the law
  • no respect for your boundaries,
they no longer have the qualifications of a board adviser. It is in your best interest to fire them for your well-being.

Make your decision

If anyone on your board fits the above description, it is time for them to go. It seems like common sense, right? Unfortunately, when you are the one being lied to or manipulated, its not always easy to see whats going on.  A few things that can help you determine if you need to fire an adviser are:
  1. A safe space. This means that you distance yourself temporarily from the situation and person to work out your feelings and take an objective outlook on whats happening.
  2. Time. There is no set amount of time it takes to decide. Sometimes you know almost immediately that an adviser needs to be fired, especially in cases of broken contracts or laws. When you've been manipulated or shamed, it can take a while to unravel your feelings and realize that you've been betrayed. Either way, firing an adviser is a big deal. Its okay to work your feelings through and not rush through or explain away.
  3. Your gut. Your intuition is your strongest indicator of things being amiss in an adviser relationship. The following are some good questions to reflect on:
    • Do I feel like I have the ability to make my own choices when talking with this person?
    • Do I have total confidence that this person is keeping our private conversations private?
    • Do I feel like a better, stronger mom with a clear direction after talking with them, or do I feel confused, disappointed, or controlled?
    • Do I feel like I can be myself when I am with them?
    • Do I feel embarrassed or scared to share my real thoughts and opinions for fear of their reaction?
Trust yourself and your feelings towards these questions. Your soul knows things that sometimes the mind can't explain. There have been times in my life where I instinctively knew I shouldn't trust someone, did anyway, and it came back to hurt me. Don't do that. Listen to your instincts!

Follow through

Ok, you've made the tough executive decision to let an adviser go. The hardest part of the process is over. The only thing left to do is implement.
The easiest and most effective way to eliminate someone from your advisory board is simple: stop consulting them.
Stop getting personal. Its okay to be friendly still, but stop sharing the details of your life with them. Personally, I think "Would I share this on Facebook?" and if the answer is no, I don't share it with them.
If they ask questions about your life that you'd rather not answer, have a polite pocket response ready to go. Something like "I've got it figured out, thanks!" or "It all worked out!" or whatever. I feel like those are polite ways of saying "butt out, its none-ya business" without having to be uncomfortably assertive. 'Cause sometimes its hard standing up to people. Maybe that's just me.
If a major offense has been committed and you feel ready to address it with them, I 100% encourage you to do that. Those conversations can be difficult to have but are incredibly healing and freeing.

What happens now?

The relationship can still remain - forgiveness can happen. Friends can still be friends, relatives can still be family. But an advisory board is a sacred thing, and a position on that board is a separate and higher calling. Once that position is lost its not something that is earned back quickly or easily, if at all.
Eventually you may fill the empty adviser seat. Maybe someone else on your board will absorb it. Maybe it will sit empty forever. However it happens, know that its okay and you'll make it through!

Tell me mamas, have you ever had to fire an adviser? How did it go? Do you have any tips to share?
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