8 Tips to Recession-Proof Your Association
Friday, February 20, 2009
Posted by: Elaine Miller, Steven Covey
As speculation continues on whether or not we've entered a recession, the fact remains that March (2008) marked 80,000 U.S. jobs lost-the worst monthly drop in 5 years. Analysts say the bloodletting will continue at unprecedented rates as the economy continues to trend down. Meanwhile, industry's most valued players-associations-wonder how a recession will damage their mission. Covey offers 8 Tips that will give you the edge when resources are scarce.
It's no secret that the best volunteers, members, and funds are attracted by the associations who can be trusted. These are often the same organizations that survive when the going gets tough. The fastest way to increase trust-and therefore value-is to demonstrate behaviors of both character and competence. Mastering these behaviors will help make your organization more profitable, more promotable, and your partnerships more energizing.
1. Talk Straight & Create Transparency - Tell the truth in a way people can verify and leave the right impression. Err on the side of disclosure-no hidden agendas. The more people trust you, the faster you can work (think less red-tape).
2. Demonstrate Respect & Show Loyalty - Behave in ways that show fundamental respect for people. Exhibit caring and concern. Counterfeits-like faking respect or concern or, worse yet, showing respect for some (those who can help you), but not for all (those who can't)-diminish trust quickly.
3. Right Wrongs - Make things right when you're wrong. Apologize quickly. Make restitution where possible. Don't rationalize, deny, or justify wrongs, and never cover things up!
4. Deliver Results & Practice Accountability-Results give you instant credibility and instant trust. Don't over-promise and under-deliver, and don't make excuses for not delivering. Take responsibility for the results and hold yourself accountable.
5. Get Better - Continuously improve. Increase your capabilities. When people see you as a learning, growing organization; they develop confidence in your ability to succeed in a rapidly changing environment, enabling you to build high-trust relationships and move with incredible speed.
6. Confront Reality & Clarify Expectations - Lead out courageously in conversation and take the tough issues head-on. Then clarify expectations by creating a shared agreement about what is to be done up front. Pin down the specifics (results, deadlines, or dollars).
7. Listen First - Really listen (seek to understand the other person's thoughts, experience, and point of view), and do it first (before you diagnose, influence, or prescribe). Listening first and speaking last helps you make better decisions, directly impacting the positive track record you're building.
8. Make and Keep Commitments - Say what you're going to do, then do it. Keeping commitments is the quickest way to build trust in any relationship. Its opposite-to break commitments or violate promises-is, without question, the quickest way to destroy trust.
Trust is free and priceless. Once established, trust increases speed and reduces cost in all relationships and transactions, making your association mission-stable when it is most needed.
Reprinted with permission: It was sent from: CoveyLink, 175 West Canyon Crest Rd., Suite 100, Alpine, UT 84004.