Speak Up!

One of the more frustrating aspects of consulting is running into staff who are unwilling to speak up when speaking up is warranted.

For example, during the implementation phase of a new AMS, many processes will be changed, either by design or by default. As processes change, staff needs to speak up and ask both “How?” and Why?” questions. How does this new process work and why are we implementing a new process.

And very often, it’s staff who have the best perspective or most knowledge that are not speaking up. I’ve been in many situations where issues someone who is “just” a mid-level staffer is the person with the most knowledge about the association and its business practices. Very often this person knows more than anyone else sitting at the table, but is the least likely to speak, either because s/he is not sure s/he should, or because the culture of the organization is such that lower level staff have learned not to speak unless spoken to.

But the absolute worst time to be silent is when significant processes are being changed. So speak up! And if you’re in leadership, make sure you ask all key staff involved for their opinion, in case they are to shy to speak up for themselves. You’ll be surprised by what you might learn.



About Wes Trochlil

For over 30 years, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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