Working one-to-one with trustees

This guide aims to help Chairs work more effectively with their individual trustees. It offers tips on working with trustees: from the recruitment stage to them moving on.

The guide is part of the Working with trustees series which also includes Working as a team and Working through difficult board relationships.



Trustees have different motivations for joining a board. We bring different life experiences, perspectives and skills. We have different ideas about what we are willing to contribute and what being a good trustee means.

Too often trustees don’t understand what is expected of them, feel unappreciated, or feel they don’t achieve much by attending meetings. Paying individual attention to your trustees can go a long way to making them feel supported and valued, and to enable them to give their best.

As Chair, it helps to get to know the individuals on your board and support them to thrive and contribute.

The trustee cycle

The trustee cycle

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What your trustees will need from you and your organisation will change as they progress through this cycle. A lot of the time you will be working with trustees who are already in post, in this case, the emphasis will be on motivating and developing them, and when the time is right, managing their departure.

Free copies for members

A free download 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.