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Coalition Engagement Skill #4: Clarify meaningful roles and responsibilities

Do you know what only you can do as a coalition leader? Do your coalition members know their roles and how they “fit” in the coalition? As a coalition leader, it is easy to “assume” that everyone knows what role(s) they are playing as part of the coalition. You may also have different expectations for the roles of staff, leaders and coalition members.Whenever there is confusion about roles and responsibilities, it is really difficult to engage your coalition. Join me this week as I highlight three ways you can clarify meaningful roles and responsibilities for your coalition.


Review your coalition priorities, projects and work plans.  Consider what (and who) may be needed to implement the specific activities and tasks. If you have a work plan or action plan, include information about specific roles related to each task or activity. The more specific you can be about roles, the more helpful it can be for the coalition leaders, members and staff to have realistic expectations. 


Refer to what you learned in #3 about your members interests and capacity. Link your members’ interests to specific roles and responsibilities that align with those interests. Be realistic about what is possible for staff vs. coalition leaders and members. If you are experiencing some teams or workgroups meeting regularly and progressing toward their goals while others are struggling to meet and move forward, consider your staffing or funding structure. Are each of the teams and workgroups supported by a staff member? Is the staff member hosting the meetings or are you expecting volunteers to host the meetings? In my experience, if you want to maintain momentum in meeting together, a coalition staff member must be involved in supporting those meetings.


Remind yourself and your coalition about roles and responsibilities. Write them down. Discuss them during meetings. Ask for feedback. Make adjustments. When you discuss, clarify and practice implementing those roles together, the easier it is to clarify those roles and engage your staff and your coalition members

Download my newest free resource where I provide additional guidance on how to develop the skill of clarifying roles and responsibilities that will help you keep your coalition engaged.

So, what about you? What have you done to clarify roles and responsibilities for your coalition?

Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

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