Consider how you can incorporate deliberative efforts
for deeper organizational relationships—one person at a time.
I often stressed to my students that strategies for student success would prepare them for life success. My words came back to me as I have been settling in as a board member with a community group.
First, let’s look at one strategy I encouraged my students to embrace: Building authentic relationships with instructors.
I urged them to contact their instructors as soon as possible at the beginning of the semester. The ideal timing would see contact made prior to the semester starting; before entering the physical classroom or signing on to an online class for the first official day of class. Such contact (by way of an office visit, email, online chat, or phone call) serves multiple purposes, For instance, it will allow the student to:
- Establish the beginnings of an integrity-based relationship with the instructor.
- Learn more about the course.
- Learn more about what students need to do and have for class.
- Ask about the top one, two, or three challenges past students have had with the class. The same for achievements.
- Find out what resources are available to supplement the class material.
- Help check assumptions about the professor that might have developed from past student evaluations.
That’s just a short list.
When I started my most-recent community work, the first board meeting confirmed that I had a great deal to learn about the organization. Some things I have learned by trial and fire—going to meetings, taking part in discussions, and jumping into the program planning and delivery. These were/are instructive, but I needed more grounding.
So, I listened to the professor whispering in my ear.
I reached out individually to each board member and set up a time to have a cup of coffee. My purpose was to learn from people who have been doing this type of community work for many years. I asked questions about the past, present, and future. I learned about challenges, strengths, and weak signals for the group. And, I developed a better picture of what my space could be within the group—where and how I could serve with purpose.
Review the bulleted list above for students and apply it to community work, or a workplace team, or a new spiritual community membership, or [you fill in the blank]. By reaching out to, meeting with, and asking authentic questions of people who have a history with a group, you can:
- Establish the beginnings of an integrity-based relationship with each member.
- Learn more about the organizations past, present, future, strengths, challenges, and weak signals.
- Learn more about what you need to do for the group. How can you serve best?
- Ask about the top one, two, or three challenges each member has experienced with the organization. The same for achievements.
- Find out about resources (available and needed) for the organization to carry out its mission.
- Check assumptions about each member you might have formed from brief encounters in meetings.
Consider how you can incorporate deliberative efforts for deeper organizational relationships—one person at a time.
Video Recommendation for the Week
This brief video, while specifically addressing the context of campus culture, reminds us about the importance of building collaborative bridges. When we reach out, in a deliberative manner, we can learn about resources. And, after all, before we can use resources, we must know about them.
My latest book,
Community as a Safe Place to Land,
has been released! You can purchase it (print or e-book) on Amazon.
More information (including seven free podcast episodes to highlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.
You can still order my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). Another university recently (May 2019) adopted it for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.
Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.
My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).
You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®