Action Item: Summer is here. Pick up the phone

To minimize the opportunity for folks to walk away and to foster the cooperative effort that your club must possess to become successful, take the opportunity to ASK FOR HELP.  

Action Item: Summer is here. Pick up the phone
Photo by Quino Al / Unsplash

As the curling season wraps up for most of us, there is a blend of emotions. 

For those who've poured in their time and treasure for the cause, it can be a welcomed hiatus.  This hiatus will quickly become "almost curling season again" with all of the tasks/projects left in the same state they are right now, if we don't plan to do the required "wrap up/cleaning/due diligence" of the club's resources.

Our joy, curling, can turn into a negative emotional experience, and if repeated for enough seasons, a compelling reason to walk away.

Let's face it. Humans do not like unfinished business. Whether it's last year's tax return or cleaning the broom heads... when they aren't done they create stress.

So, to minimize the opportunity for folks to walk away and to foster the cooperative effort that your club must possess to become successful — whether you are in an arena setting or in a dedicated space — take the opportunity to ASK FOR HELP.

"But we have asked for help....and no one responded" is something I hear often.  

How did you ask?

"We made a Facebook post/sent an email."

If this technique has not worked to date, why do you repeat it?  There is a word for that behavior. 

This is where your club needs to be thinking like a business.  You need your club members to participate to survive. Period. 

But to THRIVE you need them to engage… this is the art!

To engage means we have dialog, and dialog is a two-way street. Verbal communication is THE BEST WAY to create connection. If you need 10 folks to clean the stones, brooms, power wash the hacks, whatever it is... make the calls. Have a strategy and a plan. What if they say I don't know how to clean the stones? Or I can't lift the stones up?  Or soap makes me break out? Be prepared to give your people a way to engage.  Have something for them to do.

Ask: "Would you consider a donation to the club?" This may open a can of worms you and your board need to address. Is it clear to new members that your club functions through volunteer efforts? Do they know volunteerism is expected? 

Is there some language that periodic donations to the club, in lieu to volunteer hours, is an acceptable exchange?  Sounds weird, I get it, but the vast majority of your members have never even considered how the ice got painted, rocks showed up on the ice, and on and on.  Seriously... They don't know! 

This is critical as you transition to dedicated ice — finding the folks that want to learn, engage and be part of a club.  You need to start creating a culture TODAY that compels your members to want to participate. A sense of "missing out" if they don't engage, with their time or treasure, is a team "tone" that you and your board should share.    

Here's the lesson: People don't say "no" to helping.  People say "no" to things they don't understand.  

Leaders help people understand. If they understand and still don't participate, let's make sure they have some way they contribute — i.e. financially, relationships, or being the next node in the network you're building.

If you have a club full of takers, you don't have a club… you have a babysitting service. If this is you, we need to talk.

See you at the top!