To be an effective leader, you must be able to lead people. Below is a simple guide to help you recruit members, manage them and, most importantly, keep them in your group. You can also find brief suggestions on how to keep meetings productive and a couple links to creative and original icebreakers.
With new members come new energy, ideas, talents, and varied experiences to enhance current programs and activities; new friends; a pool of new leaders to carry on the work toward achieving the goals; and an expanded commitment to the goals of your organization.
How do you recruit members?
What to say: People will join your club if it seems important to them. What can your organization do for me? Why should I care?
Where to say it:
- Mass mailings or emails
- Tables or booths
- Distribute fliers, freebies and educational materials
- Paint, chalk or scream on the corner
- Write a press release or take out an ad
- Announce it in classes
- The possibilities are endless…
Interacting with Members
If a new member is not acknowledged within the first ten minutes of being at the meeting, he/she will never come back. Greet everyone, introduce yourself and get to know your members. This is the best way to keep them.
In knowing each member, they should feel comfortable enough to talk with you about personal issues. You should respect confidentiality and stress the importance of this to your membership. Repeat some ground rules before every meeting so members know to treat each other with respect as well.
You will have disagreements with members. Perhaps they don’t like your style of leadership or argue that nothing works but can’t offer suggestions when you ask for feedback. It is important not to get frustrated with these individuals, but to respect their opinion. If a member gets hostile during a meeting, you have the right to ask that person to leave.
Your first meeting should…
- Be uplifting and positive and demonstrate that this group likes to have fun!
- Stress how your organization is impacting education in a positive way.
- Demonstrate how your organization provides the opportunity to put their beliefs into action.
- Promote the activities of the organization.
- Instill the desire to be a committed and active member.
- Make clear the expectations of participation in organization activities.
Meetings can be productive if you set an agenda and stick to it. For discussion-based meetings, decide whether business comes before or after the discussion. Set a time limit for business matters or conduct business through other means, like an email listserv.
Residentassistant.com is a great resource for programming, icebreakers and meeting ideas.
Robert’s Rules of Order at www.robertsrules.com
Yes, icebreakers are those dreadful things you participate in at the beginning of the meeting to allow your members to get to know each other better, introduce a discussion topic, or build unity within your group. Here are some suggested links to some creative and original icebreaker ideas. Or we are VERY interested in compiling LGBTQ specific icebreakers, so tell us about the rainbow skittles and pink toilet paper activities… you know the ones.
Games at >>
IceBreakers at >>
Ground Rules >>
Source: Campus Pride, 2012