Club Culture

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A workshop about culture is formed and how it effects a business unit - in this example a Toastmasters Club. This workshop was developed for District 70 2011 Advanced Club Officer Training.

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  • Quote (1 minute) “ Who you are speaks so loudly I can't hear what you're saying. ” Slide Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Poet, Lecturer and Essayist, 1803-1882
  • Introduction Note to Trainer: This is a 30 to 45 minute session designed to help clubs and club officers develop understanding and awareness of the cultural characteristics of a healthy Toastmasters club and inspire and motivate them to work more towards this end. In today ’ s session we will cover: What is club culture How club culture is communicated What a winning club culture is Introduce the importance of setting and maintaining quality benchmarks for club operation, including but not limited to the basics of the Quality Club Audit. This session starts off with several reflective questions, then has a short lecture on 'What is Club Culture?" and then ends with an activity where learners look at the own clubs culture and the Quality Club Audit.
  • What is Club Culture: (5 to 10 Minutes) Reflective questions: Start off by introducing the topic and then asking the learners to take a minute or two to think about and answer the 7 reflective questions on the top of page 6 of the workbook. Ask them to be honest. (Slide and workbook)   The questions are:   Are your members enthusiastic? Is everybody working as a team and collaborating? Are there any free riders? (A free rider is a person who does not do their fair share, for example a club member who doesn't take on any meeting roles.) Are you satisfied with your clubs performance? Is the morale in your club high? Are members’ needs being met? Are members’ goals being achieved? Is your membership turnover rate acceptable? Learners should answer Yes / No / Don ’ t know? to each of these questions. Suggest that regardless of how they answered the questions that club culture plays a major part
  • Talk briefly on the aspects of club culture What is Club Culture? Club Culture is the assumptions, values, norms, and tangible signs (artefacts) of an organisation ’ s members and their behaviours.
  • For example: we can reflect club culture in the following ways: Dress Do we wear business suits, smart casual, casual clothing to our meetings Timing Do we start and finish on time. Do we tolerate speeches that go over time? Bias Does our club attract any particular sort of member, e.g. all one age group, all one socio-economic group, all one educational level? Speeches Do we do manual speeches? Appropriateness of language Do people in our clubs swear or use crude language. Do we tell risqué jokes at our club. It is important to note that there are no right or wrong answers here; there are only matters of fact. Each club will conduct its business in a certain way that will lead to a particular culture. Each club then can be labelled with a series of adjectives that could be used to describe its culture. For example clubs could be described as: Fun, enjoyable, friendly, professional, stuffy, casual, traditional, blasé, dedicated, of-a-specific-biased (specifically biased to service the needs of a particular group). QUESTION: How would the learners label their own club, or another club they know?      
  • How is club culture communicated? Club culture is communicated by the things we do and say, and the things that we don't do and don't say. For each of these things there can be positive (good) and negative (bad) examples. For example: The things we do: positive - treating others with respect negative – talking during other peoples speeches The things we say: positive – using educational award titles when introducing someone (eg: John Smith CC) negative – using harsh or critical language during an evaluation The things positive – not laughing when a person forgets their speech we don ’ t do: negative – not offering words of encouragement to the losers of a contest The things we positive – not saying how boring an educational was don ’ t say : negative – not asking visitors to join It is clear that some of these examples are universally positive and negative. For example treating other people with respect should always be a clearly established norm in any club and should be a universal rule. It is clear that some of these examples are universally positive and negative. For example treating other people with respect should always be a clearly established norm in any club and should be a universal rule. Other examples however may not be. Consider the issue of using educational award and titles after a person ’ s name (saying DTM for example). If you club culture is professional in nature then it may be expected that people would use educational titles, to not do so would be rude. If however your club is more casual in nature then using titles could be seen as being somewhat pretentious. Can you think of other examples? Trainers Note: If anyone starts to argue the previous point, respond by saying that they are proving your point, that using titles, etc is simply a matter of preference, but these sort of preferences run deep with people.
  • What is a winning culture? "Where everyone in the team is committed to creating a performance focused environment where every member has the opportunity to grow and achieve." Slide How do we know if we have a winning club culture? If every member of your executive team, indeed if every member of your club, can confidently answer yes to each of these questions then you have a winning club culture. Are you members enthusiastic? Is everybody working as a team and collaborating? Are there any free riders? Are you satisfied with your clubs performance? Is the morale in your club high? Are members’ needs being met? Are members’ goals being achieved? Is our membership turnover rate acceptable? If there is any doubt by even one member then perhaps your club culture needs an overhaul.
  • Activity: Reflection using the Quality Club Audit. (15 minutes) Note: This activity will use the existing District 70 quality Club Audit to lead us into thinking about the culture of our club. The Quality Club Audit is itself based on Toastmasters International's Moments of Truth Educational session which is freely available from the TI website.   Setup the activity Introducing the Quality Club Audit on page 7 of the workbook.   Explain that we are not going to do a quality club audit and that we are not interested in people tallying up their club score and telling us how wonderful their club is! We want to use the audit form to focus our attention on the 36 performance standards listed and then think about and answer these three questions…. next slide
  •   1. What are we doing that we should keep doing? 2. What are we doing that we should stop doing? 3. What are we not doing that we could do to improve club performance?   The questions should be answered honestly and frankly and should be aimed at exploring what elements of our club culture help or hinder our clubs performance. Tell them that a club representative will (in 45 seconds or less) present back to the whole group afterwards. Activity: Have the learners break up into their club groups and discuss the three questions above. Depending on the logistics of your room and how many people you have you may want to lengthen or shorten this part of the exercise to between 10 and 20 minutes, remember to allow time for the following debrief session. Slide and Workbook Debrief: Call everyone back together. Have a representative from each club report to the group what their club came up with. Be strict on time here and remind people to only talk for 45 seconds. Obviously the more clubs you have represented in the room the longer this part will take. Trainer Note: Often a debrief session like this is not really required for the learning to occur as most of the learning happens during the activity. Having said that many learners however do not understand this and will feel a lack of completion if the debrief does not happen. Also often many good ideas can come up during the debrief, so there can be some value to the group as a whole.
  • Questions (1 minute) Take two or three questions from the learners before recapping and concluding this session on a high note. If you are not getting any responses perhaps you can ask the audience “ has anyone ever though about their club culture in this way before?” “ can they see that it is important? “ “ can they see how it can affect our clubs positively or negatively?”
  • In today’s session we have covered: Club culture - What club culture is & how it is communicated - The fact that there is no right or wrong club culture - That club culture determines the things we do or don’t say, do or don’t do - And by using the Quality Club Audit we we able to identify specific areas, and the action items so we can improve our clubs performance.
  • What's the next step? (1 minute) Over the coming weeks;   1. Think about your club's culture. What's good, what's bad. What needs to change. 2. Ask you members if they are happy with the clubs performance. 3. Conduct a Quality Club Audit or a Moments of Truth session at your next executive meeting. 4. Focus on developing a winning club.
  • Club Culture

    1. 1. Club Culture And how it affects my club Presented By Eric Pace
    2. 2. Club Culture How it affects my club “Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying”. Ralph Waldo Emerson American Poet, Lecturer & Essayist 1803-1882
    3. 3. Club Culture How it affects my club In today’s session:  What is club culture?  How club culture is communicated?  What a winning club culture is?
    4. 4. Club Culture What is club culture: some questions  Are your members enthusiastic?  Is everybody working as a team and collaborating?  Are there any free riders?  Are you satisfied with your clubs performance?  Is the morale in your club high?  Are members’ needs being met?  Are members’ goals being achieved?  Is your membership turnover rate acceptable?
    5. 5. What is club culture? Of an organisations members and their behaviours Tangible signs (artifacts) normsvalues assumptions
    6. 6. Use of jokes / language What is club culture? Club culture can be reflected by Timing of meetings Dress code Manual speeches Bias There is no right or wrong culture But what people see and experience will affect their perception of your club
    7. 7. Club Culture How is it communicated? Positive Negative Things we do Treat others with respect Talking during speeches Things we say Using educational titles John Smith CC Using harsh or critical language when evaluating Things we don’t do Not laughing when someone forgets their speech Not offering encouraging words to the loser of a contest Things we don’t say Not commenting on how boring an educational was Not asking a visitor to join
    8. 8. Club Culture What is a winning club culture? “where everyone in the team is committed to creating a performance focused environment where every member has the opportunity to grow and achieve”
    9. 9. Club Culture How it affects my club ACTIVITY Q. What are we doing that we should keep doing? Q. What are we doing that we should stop doing? Q. What are we not doing that we could do to improve club performance?
    10. 10. Club Culture How it affects my club Questions
    11. 11. Club Culture Summary What club culture is & how it is communicated There is no right or wrong club culture Club culture determines the things we do or don’t say, do or don’t do We looked at specific actions that will improve our clubs People and clubs success are affected by it
    12. 12. Club Culture How it affects my club What’s the next step? 1.Think about club culture: What’s good. What’s bad. What needs to change 2.Ask your members if they are happy with the clubs performance 3.Conduct a Quality Club Audit or Moments of Truth session at your next exec meeting 4.Focus on developing a winning club

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