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Rising Member Expectations

How to Match Rising Member Expectations in 2019

We live in a highly advanced, highly personalized world. Voice assistants, same-day delivery, and on-demand content are becoming the norm. And while that’s great for us as consumers, it can be a challenge for those in the business of customer service (your association or chamber included).

Your members are expecting instant service. They’re comparing your organization to companies like Amazon and eBay. And while none of us can directly compete with retail giants like that, there are several things you can do to meet - and even exceed - rising member expectations in 2019:

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Evolve Your Association Leadership Style: 3 Practical Ways

Posted by Krissy Conant


As a leader, you should always be trying to gain new perspectives on how to best engage with your team, otherwise your association might start to feel disconnected. The needs of your staff and members will be ever changing, so it’s in your advantage to try and keep ahead of the curb by continuing to evolve your leadership style.

Take a look at these three beneficial types of leadership that anyone can start incorporating into their association leadership today.

The Coaching Style

What: One of the main goals behind coaching leadership is to help develop people by matching up their preferences with available opportunities.

Pros: This process allows for people to feel like you’re taking into account their personal journey, as well as being mindful into making your organization productive. Even adding a little bit of this methodology will allow your people to feel energized at having a leader who cares so much about their growth.

Cons: Unfortunately, this style does require you to be fairly intune with your people in order to create these optimal pairings, which isn’t always the case. In addition, this style is more of a long-term strategy, so you shouldn’t expect immediate results.

How: Ask your staff (or members) to complete a survey that gets a feel on their goals, strengths, weaknesses, and overall direction. You can then take this data and start making some real, active changes depending on your organization’s needs.

The Democratic Style

What: The democratic style of leadership encourages leaders to focus on the overall engagement of your team, as to boost collaboration and company investment.

Pros: This methodology boosts people’s overall involvement with one another to help find solutions that best help your organization. Ideally, this participation will allow your people to feel like their voice is being taken into consideration when it comes to actionable change. Also, don’t forget that typically the more involved your people are with implementing new change, the more organizational buy-in they generally have. Say hello to high retention!  

Cons: By including more people into the creative process, it can sometimes create friction between your staff (or members), especially if tensions are running high. This back-and-forth can also sometimes take longer to become ultimately resolved due to ongoing dialogue.

How: Invite your staff (and members separately) to a weekly or monthly meeting to discuss some creative problem solving for needed changes in your organization.

The Visionary Style

What: A visionary leadership style is usually defined by having an overall inspirational tone in your messaging as well as frequently discussing the big picture.

Pros: Focusing on a long-term goal from a positive angle can’t help but get most people excited! To start, it gives your staff and members something to look-forward to in regards to what’s to come for your organization as well as to motivate them. Overall, this style allows your people to feel like you have a common goal in alignment, generally helping with stronger engagement.

Cons: Some people may view this motivational speech as a form of “drinking the kool-aid” and find that being positive isn’t going to actually fix the problem. That said, this typically only happens in extreme cases of not practicing what you preach.  

How: Try to include at least five minutes in your next staff or member gathering to encourage and inspire your folks to give a little more where they can.

Have you been trying to figure out how to engage with all four generations, particularly when you have limited time and resources at your disposal? Check out our guide, How to Engage Different Generations at Your Association, to find out more tips today!

How to Engage Different Generations at Your Association  Different generations = different engagement tactics Download this guide

Topics: Small Staff Chatter, association leadership, member engagement, member retention

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