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National Grange: Get Everyone in Your Grange Engaged
 

By Rusty Hunt, National Leadership/Membership Director

  DECEMBER 15, 2010 --

December Leadership Tip of the Month:  Wouldn't it be great if all of our members would participate in our Grange by helping with the projects, activities, programs and meetings?  We have gotten them to join, now let's get them to engage.  The first step in building Grange member engagement is for YOU to become engaged in the process. Do that and you will have earned the right to expect others to follow your lead. I like to call this, "set the example."  And not only does this show others how to get engaged but it also teaches us exactly what they will have to deal with to engage.  We then can sympathize with them when they sacrifice or laugh with them when things go great.

Expand your personal communication to 1-2-3.

1)     Share information in a timely manner through oral, written, and/or electronic means.  I would like us all to expand our methods of communication. I'm on e-mail, Facebook, have a twitter account, I'm on Skype, participate in monthly internet conferences, have a cell phone, text, and even talk on the home phone once in a while. The National Grange is constantly updating the Website with the latest info.  I try my best to be available by being open to communicating with each person by the means that they prefer.  We all should be open to communicating in whatever medium that the targeted members feel most comfortable. Now that we are opening up new lines of communication, we need to be prompt with our info.  Get it out to our members as soon as possible.  This will make them feel important and show them that we are engaged and that we want them to engage also.

2)     Enhance understanding of the information by describing how Grangers should apply it in their Grange activities.  Now that the info has been shared, follow up with more details about how it will make things better, stronger, and more fun.  This is where we can make it more personalized and appealing to our members.

3)     Reinforce key messages through repetition.  We should always follow up our communications with reminders and make sure that nobody forgets.  I have always believed in the old speakers rule; tell them what you are going to talk about, tell them what you came to talk about, and then tell them what you just told them.  Repetition is always a good way to make sure that your message will get across and be understood.

Accentuate the positives.

Help team members see and understand the positive aspects of change activities and initiatives through group discussions.  Ask the team to respond to questions such as: What are examples of changes that have benefited us in the past? If you had to identify two things that are positive about this change, what would they be? It is always good to get teams engaged in a discussion.  It makes them feel that their input is important and that you care about them.  Teams that allow their members to have input on the process experience a higher level of "buy in" by the team members and experience a higher level of success than teams that don't.  

Let the "big bosses" know.

Forward complimentary e-mails, make a Facebook post, or tweet on Twitter about your team's performance or behavior to the State and National Granges. Add your personal congratulations and cc the team. Most people will appreciate the pride you have in them and the work they do - and your willingness to tell those who are higher up.

If we do these things we will encourage members to get engaged and stay engaged.  After all, isn't that what we want? 

Fraternally,

Rusty Hunt, Leadership/Membership Director
National Grange

 
 
 

 
     
     
       
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