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Membership News
Membership News: Adaptability: Are You “Seen” in Your Grange?

By Faith Quinlan, CT State Grange Membership Director

  July 3, 2022 --

“Do you see me?” is perhaps the most critical question humans have in any interaction. It implies: Do I matter to you? Do you understand my views and needs? Am I merely a pawn for you to use in achieving your goals, or do you care about me as a person? Do you get my potential as a partner in this work? And are you willing to work with me even though we won’t always see eye to eye?

People look closely at how others treat them in answering these questions. One of the biggest tipoffs is how generous you are with inclusion. Are they included? Whether and how you involve others in discussions and decisions, and if you do so with genuine interest.

A common mistake among leaders is assuming they’re supposed to know everything and therefore   others have little to contribute rather than facilitate discussions to listen and resolve differing views, many leaders make decisions without involving others. But have you noticed the problems with this approach? It frequently fails because implementation goes awry.

Ways to be more inclusive:

1.  Invite others to be part of the real action. Including others goes far beyond sharing routine reports, or delegating work. Instead, think about whom you are engaging, on what activities, and in what way. And be sure you include people in a timely way, when they can influence the decision.

2.  Invite stakeholders. It’s especially important to involve people who are likely to be affected significantly by what you’re doing.

3.  Seek input on critical issues. Bring others into discussions around important issues, such as planning for future initiatives, resolving serious challenges, or generating quality improvements. It’s when people are left out of important considerations that they feel they weren’t included, weren’t seen, and didn’t matter.

4.  Give permission and encouragement. Sometimes people need encouragement to speak

5.  Integrate differences. Are you genuinely open to people who hold different perspectives? Do you default to including people with a similar background to your own because discussions with them feel easier and more comfortable?

Carefully consider all input. Including others in decision-making means sharing issues and giving people a voice. Make a real effort to incorporate some of their input in your decisions. Listening without acting on their opinions does not mean they were heard, and people will quickly learn that you’re going through the motions but that their views don’t really matter.



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