When working in coalitions, you are constantly thinking about roles. How can you engage your members in meaningful ways? What roles will people play (or not)? One of the areas we don’t spend nearly enough time considering is the specific roles for staff to play. As coalition staff, it can be really easy to become overwhelmed by all that needs to be done with the coalition. There are so many needs and opportunities that it is difficult to say “no” to anything. Even though it is really difficult to prioritize and clarify staff roles, it is essential for you and for your coalition, partnership or team! Join me this week as I provide four steps to take to get clear on roles for coalition staff.
Identify areas of interest and passion. What topics or types of activities get your staff particularly excited? What are those things that they enjoy doing most? Who are the people they enjoy serving the most? Spend some time encouraging your staff to reflect on these interests and passions and schedule time to discuss them as a group. When we take the time to get to know our staff and ask curiosity questions, we can discover areas of interest that align with coalition needs.
Consider your staff members strengths and areas of expertise. What are they particularly good at doing? What experience or expertise do they have? When you combine their interests and passions with what they are good at doing, this will provide great clarity in the best role(s) for them to play. Alternatively, if you are constantly asking staff to do things in areas of weakness or outside their expertise or skill set, it will be frustrating for everyone. If you want more resources on this, I recommend reading the book Free to Focus by Michael Hyatt. In addition, you may want to consider pursuing Strengths Finder which can provide incredible insight into each person’s strengths. When people are working in areas of strength and skill, everyone wins!
This is often easier said than done. One of the best ways to practice being realistic is to take your best estimate of how long something will take and add twice as much time to it! 🙂 Also, when you have new staff or student interns, it is wise to add even more time to accomplishing tasks and including training and discussion time as part of these tasks. If you are experiencing a season where your staff are weary because you are overwhelmed and overcommitted, learn from this experience and block time in the next few months for you all to pause, assess and reconsider what is realistic for your staff and your coalition. Without staff, you cannot maintain momentum or progress as a coalition. Take the time to listen and keep practicing being realistic!
Consider which staff need to participate in which meetings or activities. One of the ways coalition staff can be particularly overwhelmed (and our coalition members can be confused) is when every staff member is attending every meeting. Consider the roles needed for each group, meeting or activity and be intentional about who attends and who does not attend. When you pause and reflect on who needs to participate, you are able to be more intentional with your staff capacity and commitment.
So what about you? What is going to be your first step toward clarifying roles for your staff?
If you would like more resources on clarifying roles for staff (and others!), check out my Masterclass Recording, Clarity in Your Coalition!