I’ve joined a newish nonprofit community group that is challenging in so many ways. Personalities, dramas, etc. One of the recurring issues is “professional”. Individuals have taken to saying something is “professional” to get their way.
Yesterday, we had an exchange of emails about the “professional” way to use our name in a proposal being submitted. Tomorrow, we are going to discuss at our meeting. From the email exchange and from private conversations with the president, I know that she is adamant in her opinion of how to use our name. As she has been beandipping any conversation about the name for some time, I’m concerned that tomorrow’s meeting is going to be heated and could use advice on how to handle.
BG: Say our legal name is “Antique Linen Society of the Northeastern Mountain, Inc.” The president always uses that full, legal name (meaning including the Inc.) on all correspondence, the web, etc. Every time someone uses any abbreviation like “Antique Linen Society”, she changes it back to the full legal name if she can get to it before it is released.
Privately, she has insisted to me that both “Antique Linen Society” and "Antique Linen Society of the Northeastern Mountain" are unprofessional and that it frustrates her that so much of the organization’s correspondence is not written professionally. I’ve pointed out that Inc is used for legal contracts and tax returns, that organizations like the New York Times don’t use Inc. when referring to themselves. The Times uses the New York Times in the first paragraph and then switches to the Times. She is unswayed. It’s “Antique Linen Society of the Northeastern Mountain, Inc.” only to her.
FYI, in the last exchange of emails, she was outvoted on what initials to use (she wanted ALSNEM, but ALS won the vote). Her response to that was a bit snippy and then she refused to talk about the name further and she was out voted on that. Thus we are discussing tomorrow.
Recommendations on how to discuss at the meeting tomorrow? I’d like to say that uncommon use of the full legal name is unprofessional or ostentatious. Or that it make us sound like amateurs pretending to be professionals. But I am concerned that words like those would be hurtful to her. I’d like to persuade her, not hurt her.
Thanks for any help.