COMMUNICATION FOR OFFICERTEAMSCreated by Micah Melling, 2011-2012 Central RegionVice President
WHAT IS COMMUNICATION? Definition of Communication: “The imparting or exchanging of information or news.”
WHY IS COMMUNICATION IMPORTANT? There are three main reasons why effective communication is important. It keeps everyone on the same page, decreasing confusion and error. It encourages an exchange of helpful ideas. It holds everyone accountable. No one can say, “I didn’t know what to do.”
THE KEY TO SUCCESSFUL COMMUNICATION For communication to be successful within an officer team, every member of the team must make effective communication a priority. In particular, the student leader of the team must constantly be “communication oriented.”
COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES WITHIN ACHAPTER OFFICER TEAM Meetings at school Face-to-face communication at school is ideal. Officer teams should meet at least on a bi-weekly basis. Find a consistent time to meet (e.g. every other Monday before school starts). Make these meetings a focal point for your officer team.
COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES WITHIN ACHAPTER OFFICER TEAM (CONT) Texting Chapter officers should use texting as one of their primary methods of communication. Texting is the most “sure-fire” way to remind teens of something. The chapter president could develop a “texting” reminder plan. For example, each Sunday night the chapter president will send a short text that outlines the entire week. Don’t be afraid to send several “text” reminders a week if necessary.
COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES WITHIN ACHAPTER OFFICER TEAM (CONT) Utilize the chapter advisor(s) If you want to give every officer a personal reminder at school, ask your advisor(s) to help. They can remind the officers when they enter their classroom, or they can use their resources to efficiently relay the message.
COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES FOR STATEOFFICER TEAMS Key Concepts With the members of your team spread out across the state, effective communication can become tricky. Since your team only meets a few times a year, relying on face-to-face communication is impossible. At the beginning of your term, your team must decide the channels of communication to use.
COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES FOR STATEOFFICER TEAMS (CONT) Facebook All of the members of your team should be “Facebook friends.” This ensures that everyone is always connected. Creating a private Facebook group for your team can be a great communication channel. This can be a forum for questions, discussions, and reminders. A group like this is only effective if officers check it frequently.
COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES FOR STATEOFFICER TEAMS (CONT) Emailing Reserve emailing for topics that need to be explained in- depth. Don’t use email for simple reminders (e.g. “remember that your monthly report is due tomorrow). The members of your team that have smartphones should “sync” their email account to their phone. This drastically increases the likelihood of responding to messages. Officers should check their email at least once a day.
COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES FOR STATEOFFICER TEAMS (CONT) Texting Texting should be used for quick reminders (e.g. your monthly report is due tomorrow, your need to submit your newsletter article in two days, etc). Use texting to ask for updates from your officers. When you send an important email, follow up with a text to your team telling them to check their email. This may sound silly, but it’s effective.
COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES FOR STATEOFFICER TEAMS (CONT) Skype for small teams (5 or less) For small teams, hosting Skype conferences can be highly effective. These conferences can be on set dates (e.g. every other Monday at 6:00 pm) or by request. Skype for large teams (5 or more) For large teams, hosting Skype conferences can be difficult to coordinate and execute. In these cases, don’t even attempt to host team Skype conferences. Instead, rely on other methods of communication. One possibility, however, is for the state president to have a monthly Skype call with each team member.
QUESTIONS? Before May 2012, please contact Central Region Vice President Micah Melling. email@example.com After May 2012, please contact your current Central Region Vice President. Their contact information can be found on deca.org.