Handling difficult situations as a non-exec … help please.

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Handling difficult situations as a non-exec…

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I’m looking for some advice from other non-execs who may have faced similar problems please.  I’m a non-exec on the board of a charity which is owned by a much larger company that supports it with cash flow facilities and business services - salaries, H&S, accounts etc.

The mother company has one of its own senior managers as a consultant to the board, who also is the direct line manager of the manager of the team that actually run the charity’s business - training young people basic skills in the construction industry.  

The team and their manager are all totally committed, enthusiastic and skilled in their roles as trainers, with decades of experience within construction in their backgrounds … and do a brilliant job with often quite challenging young people.  However, their manager from the mother company isn’t so good and, despite being a very pleasant man in board meetings, apparently treats the charity’s team rather badly, offering no encouragement and plenty of negativity.

As a non-exec director enjoying a more independent voice, not engaged in the company on a day-to-day basis but with a clear role in overseeing the governance of the charity, I’m not sure of the best way to help manage what is a difficult situation … one which has lead to a number of the invaluable staff considering their positions.

Has anyone had any experience in similar situations … and may be able to offer advice?
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