Sheryl’s Success Strategies – By Sheryl Nicholsonj, CSP
I Don’t Want That Job
Have you ever said that? You’ve been put into the position to write or help write policies that will allow your fraternity, sorority, or organization to run smoothly and efficiently. Will the rest of your members “abide by the rules?” Probably not…..nobody likes to be TOLD what do to, no matter what their age. So here are some tips to get your team to “buy in”.
1. Of course the best case scenario is to hold a
brainstorming (noodlejam) meeting with representatives
from all departments present to create a draft of your
2. If you’re going to write the policies without input, allow
your team to offer suggestions to modify and improve
the policies before they’re “carved in stone.”
3. Whenever our office creates a new policy for our book we
also list the benefits of doing something a particular
way. That way you don’t have team members
wondering “where did they come up with THAT
4. Lead by example. If others see that you aren’t putting
up a fuss about the new policies then they will
understand that they will be able to work through them.
5. Find internal cheerleaders. Who are the members of
your team that get excited about change, growth, and
expansion? Let them know that you need them “in
your corner” to rally the troops. Chances are they will
be excited about being recognized that they are
flexible and willing to co-lead.
6. Remember the different ways that people deal with
a change. Some will ignore or deny it, others will
test it, one or two will cheer it, and a few will
accept it. Understanding that, you will know who
may need that extra one-on-one time to answer
the questions they are struggling with.
Feeling an ambush coming on? What happens when the policy has already been set, everyone seemed to accept it but now you have a hall full of “rattlesnakes”? Rattlesnake is the name I call passive-aggressive communicators. When something happens that they just don’t like, instead of speaking up at that moment, they slither away down the hall, under a bush somewhere. Months go by, maybe something else happens, or something is said, and again they quietly slither into another office. Then one fine sunny day, months later, you ask them a harmless question and suddenly the fangs come out. You are struck with a verbal bite you weren’t prepared for.
These people are also your fraternity, sorority, or organization policy saboteurs. You thought they were fine with the policy book because nothing was said otherwise and yet, quietly your organizational process is falling apart. A piece of procedure missing here, a few minor infractions there, and before you know it…you’d been ambushed!
So now what? Hold a Zitch List ™ Party! I recommend that these be held at least every quarter, but with all the change going on in organizations today, it may be better for YOUR group to do one every 6 weeks! How does it work?
Get a piece of flip chart size paper. On the paper draw a large T. On the top left half of the T put a “-” sign and on the top right of the T put a “+” sign.
Now have a party! Ask for input. All the things that people are complaining about gets written on the left side on the paper. When you think they’re finished “zitching” ask them “Is there anything else you would like to put on your list?” Ask this question THREE times so that they can really dump their complaints out of their head and onto the paper.
When they’re finished, ask which of those items do they have control over. That list will be moved over to the right side, under the + sign. Don’t be surprised if only one or two things get moved over. My years of doing this, no matter what size the organization, shows that most of us complain about things we have absolutely no control over. For example, the weather, the poor attitudes of some people, someone else’s duties, or policies.
If there is something that can be moved over, ask the next question: “What are you going to do about it?” This empowers the person to focus on solutions that bring positive results.
If the majority of things can’t be moved over then you simply remind them of this phrase:
If it’s Out of Your Control…LET IT GO!
Then ask them to participate as a representative to modify and update the next policy book.
About Sheryl Nicholson, CSP: CSP Sheryl Nicholson is an International Professional Speaker and Author and rated in the top 8% in the profession. She has been doing training since the 1980s and also has a private coaching business. She is known as a People Productivity Expert focusing on skill development in sales, leadership, time management, goals, communication, and life balance. Her articles are published everywhere. For more information visit Sheryl’s website, http://www.sheryl.com.