By Brandi McGrath Kong, Director of Member Services and Conferences
The work that Sertoma and its clubs do would not be possible without the passion and cooperation of members all throughout the United States and Canada. Our members are proud of the work that they do and are not afraid to speak up. However, it’s important to remember that this spirited discussion can sometimes come at a price when others feel like they are being unheard, ignored or mistreated.
In today’s blog, I want to provide a gentle reminder about the importance of practicing kindness, respect and basic etiquette at all club meetings, fundraisers, and public events, as well as gatherings held at the regional or national level.
Respect should be a basic tenant of everything that we do as Sertomans, and it is our sincere hope that our members always demonstrate it to each other and those that we serve. After all, it is essential if we are to do our duties as a service organization. In addition to promoting this welcoming spirit, basic etiquette can help improve communication, increase productivity, and improve relationships, according to Indeed.com.
Other tips from Indeed.com for promoting a positive gathering experience:
- Be punctual. Show up for your meetings and events on time. While we know that things happen on occasion, you do not want to be known as someone whose perpetual lateness is disruptive to the flow of the club.
- Actively listen and participate, but also practice politeness. Don’t be the person in the back of the room who yells out or tries to speak out over someone. We all have different visual and audio needs, and we should all try our best to make sure that everyone is included. Just be mindful of how you inform someone else that you cannot hear or see what is being presented. Remember – it's not just what you are saying that matters; it’s also how you say it.
- Keep conversation at the table minimal when listening to a presenter. It is not only disruptive to the speaker but also makes it difficult for your neighbors to hear what is being said.
- Ask questions at an appropriate time and be mindful that you are not monopolizing the conversation in general. Other people have an equal right to ask questions or share their opinions, so try your best to make sure that all participants have the same opportunity to be heard.
- Put away technology. Turn your phones and tablets to vibrate or switch them off completely. Do not answer your phone in a meeting room. Instead, quietly excuse yourself by stepping outside if you need to take a call. And if you happen to forget to silence your phone and it rings, just make sure that you set it to vibrate then so that it does not happen again.