Reader: How to handle a difficult committee member

I was totally flattered when a reader dropped me an email and I’ve asked for her permission to post it:

I’m just dropping you an email in the hope that you can give me some advice as you appear to have handled some situations with co-workers & supervisors as well as negative blog commentary quite admirably.

Anyway, I am a member of an university sports club and am quite involved with the committee/ administration work. However another committee member really bugs me for many reasons, including making decisions without consulting anyone else or even going so far as to do something despite disagreement by other members.

I love organising stuff for the club, but I am actually considering giving up my level of activity because this person will not budge or listen to criticism. In fact today, they went so far as to say that all the work done over the last two years when I was running the club was worthless; when, I was running the club without any help from few of the other committee members, including him who often refused to do work.

I know I shouldn’t let it bother me, but I can’t help but get so upset when someone so blatantly goes on an absolute power trip and then tries to degrade what I have tried to do with the club.
…what would you do in this situation?

My answer back to her was:

My answer would be to say a couple of things to him:

1. Where were “you” for the past 2 years? Did you step up to make sure that the club was running properly? If you had a problem with my organization and running of the club, you should’ve brought the matter to my attention immediately instead of complaining after the fact. As I recall you refused to help out with any activity, and maybe it was your lack of action that caused the club to be run the way it was. I’m only one person and I cannot do it all on my own especially when others don’t contribute.

2. I appreciate your comments and your critique. But I am the one running this club. Not you. You do not have the authorization (as given to me by the committee) to make decisions on your own without consulting us as a group. If you have a suggestion, you can make it, and we’ll decide as a group whether or not it’s a feasible solution.

If he continues to fight with you and undermine your power then say:

3. If you think you can do a better job then go ahead and prove it. We’ll hold a re-election (informally) and everyone can choose who they want to run the club. And/or you can take over for 6 months and prove me wrong.

*LOL* May not be very politically correct, the last one….

But that’s what I’d say off the top of my head.

Readers? Wanna weigh in on what you’d say?

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.