Are you in the association cycle?

You know that world where we initiate a project, get everything organized, move on to the next project and somewhere along the way the last project gets facilitated. Simply said, in associations we are always on to the next thing before the last is even on display.

Do you ever stop and consider your accomplishments or missteps?

In my experience, we rarely pause and examine what we did and identify how we might do it better next time (because in associations there is always a next time!). Here are three simple questions that I encourage you to pause and discuss with your team:

  1. What worked?
  2. What did not work?
  3. What would you do differently?

Now if you ask these questions, please be ready to listen. If you attempt to refute responses or rebuke individuals your team will likely stop talking. And there are real opportunities to learn from what your team (volunteers, members, etc) have to say.

The conversation can be difficult at first. Some people take their work very personally. So remind your team to focus on the work not the individuals, be respectful and constructive. After you do this a few times it will be less challenging and (hopefully) part of your cycle.

“He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.” – Chinese proverb

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