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Are Your Vendors Engaged? Would You Like Them to Be?

Are Your Vendors Engaged? Would You Like Them to Be?

Rumor has it, in some association circles, trade show attendance is struggling. This could spell trouble for how vendor members find value in belonging to your organization. While some industries may be feeling the pain more than others, it is never a bad time to think about the ways you are engaging your vendor/supplier members. Read on for a handful of ideas on engaging your vendor-side members in effective and successful ways.

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Behavioral types and association management

Posted by Sarah Hill

“If everyone is the same, life is boring. In reality everyone is different.” –Shae Feather

MemberClicks is heavily committed to growth of all kinds, and professional growth for the “Clickers” is right up there with top-notch product development. So when I was invited and encouraged to attend a Women in Technology forum I (and all of my female co-workers) happily attended.

Clicker women learn about personality in the workplace

The topic was “Knowing Yourself & Knowing Others” and involved a very quick and not-at-all scientific personality assessment to determine our DISC behavioral style.

DISC stands for:

Drive, which relates to control, power and assertiveness

Influence, which relates to social situations and communication

Steadiness, which relates to patience, persistence, and thoughtfulness

Compliance, which relates to structure and organization

We were given lists of qualities under each behavioral style and asked to circle each word that described us the way we are, not the way we want to be.

I found myself dominating in Drive and Steadiness, which I felt was pretty accurate. I am strong-willed, competitive, determined, and venturesome. Under “S” I circled relaxed, predictable, consistent, and deliberate. An interesting combination, I know.

“I” was a close third, with enthusiastic, optimistic, and sociable circled. Upon further reflection, I feel I could have also circled “warm” and perhaps even “persuasive” (I do write a blog, after all) but at the time, it was just those three.

‘”C” brought up the rear with only “cautious” and even then I wasn’t 100% sure about it. I was sad to admit to myself that I am not particularly systematic or exacting, and my paperwork is definitely not neat and orderly.

Then I got to thinking about my bosses, organization leaders, and teachers over the years. Without actually giving me one of these tests, they no doubt had to adjust their leadership styles for my personality (and everyone else they were in charge of, for that matter.) And I realized that it’s probably instinct to adjust your communication style for everyone depending on his or her personality.

In a small staff association, personality is surprisingly key. Your members don’t get monetary incentive to work with each other. In fact, often they’re paying for the privilege of participating. Their reward is an environment that’s fulfilling, encourages good communication, and helps them reach their goals. That’s where personality comes in.

Focusing on personality to resolve conflicts

It’s not essential to memorize DISC or give everyone an assessment. But if conflict arises or an employee or member expresses discontent, start with communication and personality. If they’re like me (D and S dominant) they probably feel the need to be heard and not dictated to and given a wide berth to get things done at their own pace and by their own methods. If they’re more focused on compliance, organization and clear goals could be important and if influence is the dominant trait then they might need a more up-beat, social environment.

I learned this information at a Women in Technology forum, but there are countless publications and studies out there on personality types and management. I encourage you to do some reading in your spare time! More knowledge will enhance communication and management skills, which will result in happier employees and members.

Topics: association management

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