Working as a team

This guide aims to help Chairs build a strong board team. It offers guidance on identifying different types of teams, stages of team development and building a team that works effectively together.

The guide is part of the Working with trustees series which also includes Working one-to-one with trustees and Working through difficult board relationships.


Building a strong board team is an important aspect of a Chair’s role. It’s your responsibility to get these individuals working together in harmony. This can be especially challenging as boards only meet intermittently and trustees have multiple roles and responsibilities in their lives.

It’s important to recognise that the board is a social group with group dynamics that affect its ability to function well. Chairs of the most effective boards are aware of how trustees relate to each other and are adept at enabling people to find ways of working that accommodate differences in style and outlook and use constructive conflict to reach good decisions around which they can unite.

Your team dynamics may go through stages of change as individual trustees join and leave. Being aware of these different stages may help you think about how you respond.

Association of Chairs’ Team Health Check


We have developed the Team Health Check to help assess where your board team is on a four-point spectrum, from struggling to performing. It covers issues such as staff/trustee relationships, trust, roles and responsibilities and impact on your mission.

Free copies for members

A free download copy of the guide is available to all Association of Chairs members and Beacon Programme participants.

You can also download the other titles in the series:

Become a member

Join the Association of Chairs to access this guide, along with a range of other resources, workshops and webinars. Membership costs £50-100 per year (depending on your organisation’s income). Find out more about membership.

Are you a Chair or Vice Chair of a small charity in England, with an annual income under £1 million? Join our free Beacon programme to access events, resources and webinars aimed at charities like yours. Join the Beacon Programme.

Order a print copy

If you would like to buy a print copy, please email us Copies are £10 for members and £15 for non-members plus £1.50 for postage and packing (£3.50 when you purchase all three guides).

Please note that we are currently unable to post print copies due to coronavirus. We hope to be able to resume this service soon.