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How do we decide who will do what?

Although sometimes in our coalition work, we have to work together to just “get it done,” if we are always approaching our work this way, we will quickly become overwhelmed, weary and burned out. This approach will also impact all of those working with us in the coalition. If you want to recruit and maintain coalition staff, leaders and members, you want to connect them with work that they both enjoy doing and are good at doing. Join me this week as I provide questions to ask that will help you decide who will do what in your coalition.

What needs to be done?

As you have reflected on your coalition’s purpose, spend time thinking about what needs to be done to accomplish this purpose. You have likely already thought about this even if you haven’t written it down yet. Take some time to reflect and write it down. Although this may feel like an overwhelming task, start with a few things each week that you can discuss with your staff or leadership team. You can build upon those as you go and then have a complete list after working on it for a few weeks. 

Who enjoys doing specific roles?

Once you have your list of roles and what needs to be done, ask your coalition staff and leaders who enjoys which roles. Spend time reflecting and connecting with your team. You need to be part of this conversation as well. As coalition leaders, we can easily end up doing what no one else enjoys doing, which is not a good strategy for maintaining energy and engagement. Practice leadership through modeling honesty, reflection and recognition of those roles that you really enjoy.  If you are struggling with figuring this out, consider which of the roles bring you the most energy and excitement. Are there any roles where you say “Wow, I cannot believe they are paying me to do this?!”  If any of the roles fit into that category, you clearly enjoy doing those roles.

Who is good at doing specific roles?

While it is important to enjoy doing the role, if you are going to be in the best fit, and the “desire zone” as I have learned from Michael Hyatt and his Free to Focus book, you also need to figure out who is really good at doing these roles and able to do them effectively. If you have been working in a particular coalition for a long time, you may have a very long list of roles that you are good at doing. As a matter of fact, you may always be doing these things because you do them so well.

As you ask this question, you may find others who are also good at doing these things, you may need to contract with others or recruit new people to join your team. If you have new staff, they may not yet be good at doing specific roles but they may have an interest and an aptitude for doing them. They may need training in order to gain confidence and competence. Once again, I encourage you to model honesty, reflection and recognition of which roles you are good at in the coalition. You may also need to provide encouragement and coaching to your team so that they can honestly self-reflect on what they are good at in the coalition.

When you put the answers to all three questions together, you have gained clarity on deciding who will do what. You want people to spend most of their time in roles and activities that fit all three criteria:

  • Need to be done
  • They enjoy doing
  • They are good at doing

As an example, one of the roles that needs to be done in one coalition I work with is evaluation. I have a lot of experience and am good at evaluation efforts so I have often been the one doing the evaluations. Over the past two years, I have realized that I don’t really enjoy doing the evaluation work. Although I like presenting the results and promoting its importance, I do not enjoy the details of evaluation planning. This recognition allowed us to contract with someone else to do this evaluation work which freed more of my time to do the work that needs to be done and that I both enjoy doing and am good at doing. Everyone wins when we are spending most of our time in this place!

Knowing and connecting people to meaningful roles that fit these criteria may not be immediately clear. Begin with yourself and your team, be honest about where you are and start making those connections! Once you practice this approach, you will gain confidence and your coalition will be more engaged.

What about you? Which question do you need to focus on as a coalition right now?

If you are ready to dive into this further, check out the recording from my most recent Masterclass, Who is doing what in your coalition!

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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