I just launched two brand new premium courses to help you better engage with your coalition!

The Secret to Sustaining Coalitions

You can have a clear purpose, a prioritized strategic plan and clear roles and responsibilities but still struggle with your coalition. While these are important aspects of coalition building, they are not enough to keep coalition members working together. The “secret” to sustaining coalitions is Emotional Intelligence. When we demonstrate high levels of Emotional Intelligence, we will improve our leadership, engagement, trust, relationships and productivity in working together with others.  Join me this week for three ways you can improve your Emotional Intelligence in coalition building.

Know yourself

Take time to reflect. Ask for feedback from trusted friends and colleagues. As you get to know yourself better, also be willing to make positive adjustments and changes. However, be cautious that you don’t become so obsessed with reflection that you are unable to take action.

In Action

One of the ways I have been practicing this is to really reflect on what things I actually enjoy doing and am good at doing. For many years, I have provided leadership in evaluation efforts for a coalition. While I know it’s important and I can do it, I also recognize that it’s not really the thing I most enjoy doing. If I had to choose one area where I’m particularly passionate and proficient, it’s facilitating meetings. Our team is trying to figure out a way to restructure our work so that each of us is working in the areas where we are both passionate and proficient. In order to do this, we have to take the time to know ourselves.

Recognize others

Pay attention to others. Learn what they are saying – or not saying. Take time to listen to others and try to listen to both the loud and the quiet voices. Practice empathy. Empathy is not about fixing someone or telling someone that you understand what they are experiencing. When you practice empathy, you listen, care and support others. One of the most challenging aspects of empathy is being willing to sit with someone during very difficult situations without having any “words” to say.  In coalitions, empathy is believing the best in others and not letting your agenda become more important than their agendas.

In Action

Over the past several months, one of my closest friends and colleagues has experienced constant change and disappointment. This has greatly impacted her ability to volunteer in the work of our coalition. Rather than trying to fix the situation or try to find ways to get her to keep working with the coalition, I called her, listened to her and reminded her that I was here for her. Practicing empathy has given her the ability to stay connected to our coalition and re-engage when possible.

If you want to explore this concept further, I encourage you to check out Brené Brown’s work. Her recent book, “Dare to Lead,” provides practical ways you can apply these concepts.

Interact Positively

Smile when you work with others. Be encouraging. Share credit. Listen more than you talk. Be willing to address conflict. Find “win-win” solutions. Learn what works well and what needs to be changed to improve your relationships and work with others. You know you are interacting positively when you genuinely enjoy working with those in your coalition.

In Action

I remember one of our last in-person meetings prior to COVID-19. I had the opportunity to lead a meeting of colleagues for the first time in over a year. There were SO many people I had not seen in person in a very long time and I commented that I felt like I was at my wedding again. I wanted to have individual conversations with everyone there and yet there was only a limited time for us to meet together as a large group. These positive interactions were critical for us to continue to work together even though we have been in a virtual space for over a year.  And we look forward to meeting together again!

Make a change

If you are not enjoying working with the people around you, take time to reflect and consider what might be preventing you from interacting positively with others. Be willing to ask some difficult questions and make adjustments so that you can interact positively. In some situations, you may have done all you could do to interact positively with particular partners and it’s just not working. Sometimes, you need to be courageous and willing to step away from some of your partners in order to preserve your energy and ability to interact positively with the rest of your coalition.

We can all increase our capacity and skills for Emotional Intelligence which is critically important in partnership building. I encourage you to download my free resource and find ways to increase your own Emotional Intelligence!  

What areas do you want to grow and improve? Is it knowing yourself, recognizing others and/or interacting positively?

Click here to register for my my new FREE Masterclass, Clarity in Your Coalition on June 16th at 3 pm ET.

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

If you or someone you know would like to stay up-to-date on my weekly blog posts, subscribe today!

Yes! Send me practical tips every week to help my coalition succeed!