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Coalition Engagement Skill #1: Be clear about your purpose

Why do you exist? Why are we meeting? What is the purpose of this workgroup? As a coalition leader, even though you may think you have been clear about your purpose, it can be really easy for coalition members to be confused and then struggle with coalition engagement. Also, even if you are clear, it can be easy to “under communicate” with your coalition. Recently, I had the opportunity to co-lead a discussion-based meeting with a coalition. We hosted small group meetings to prepare, sent several emails, announced the meeting in various ways and we still had people asking, what is the purpose of this meeting? How can we be more clear about our purpose? Join me this week as I provide three recommendations on how to be more clear about your purpose.

We have a complimentary checklist that you can download for free. It gives into even more detail and gives you practical actions you can take to become a more effective coalition leader. Download it now.

Ask “Why?”

If you have a young child or grandchild in your life, you can learn from their curiosity. They are very quick and courageous in asking “why” when they want more clarity and are trying to understand. As coalition leaders, it is important for us to ask ourselves “why” and it’s important to give permission to others to ask us the “why” question as well. This can help clearly articulate our overall coalition purpose as well as the purpose for our meetings, priorities, goals and/or strategies.

Keep it simple

Once you get clear about your purpose, it is important to articulate that purpose as clearly and simply as possible. If you can describe your purpose in one sentence or using just a few bullet points, it can be easier for our coalition to understand the purpose.

Repeat yourself

Communicate your simple, clear purpose frequently using several different methods and make it clear what you want people to do with that purpose. For instance, if you are promoting an upcoming meeting, make it easy for them to know how to register or RSVP for the meeting. If you are trying to recruit new coalition members, make it easy for them to know what they can do to join the coalition.

Download my newest free resource where I provide additional guidance on how to develop the skill of being clear about your purpose that will help you keep your coalition engaged.

So what about you? What has helped you be clear about your purpose (overall, for meetings, for committees or workgroups)?

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