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Take a Listening Tour of your Chapters

listening tour

Here are the 5 steps to strengthening the communication between chapter and national. 

As a national association, the success of your chapters is the success of the association as a whole. How chapter leaders are trained and fulfill their duties is a direct reflection on the abilities of the national. This comes together in the assurance of value to members.

Of course, being truly in tune with your chapters goes much deeper than this. It involves two-way communication. If it doesn’t, then something needs to change, lest you risk your chapter failing at achieving their goals. While there are specific standard deliverables that chapter leadership can expect from national, such as training, there should also be a means for chapters to communicate their needs to national.

This is where a listening tour comes in handy. A representative from national needs to be in touch with chapter leadership to find out how things are going and what can be done better in the relationship from national to chapter and vise versa. Years ago, there were limitations to how communication could take place, but thanks to modern technology, getting the pulse of the local levels has never been easier.

Here are 5 steps to ensure healthy communication between national and chapter:

  1. Decide who the local chapter point of contact will be.
  2. Plan a specific time and location for connecting and gathering information.
  3. Don’t rely solely on email, phone or in person meetings. Utilize modern technology such as Skype, Facebook video, Facetime, or other chat services.
  4. Visit your chapters by attending local meetings, either in person or virtually.
  5. Survey members about what they want to see happen for their chapter and their chapter leadership.

Listening to your chapters is meant to make things better for all your chapters. Nationals can take the information obtained to better coach or mentor chapters in the achievement of their goals. They can work together to build the reputation of the association. And ultimately, they can provide the positive environment that fosters member progress within the chapter and beyond.


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