Best practices for Chapter leaders
1. Chapter Documents: Have double copies of all chapter
documents and make sure hard copy and electronic files are located in more than one place & with more than one person.
Do this in good times so there is continuity and sustainability in the future.
2. Creating safety: Always read guidelines based on those
provided by National. Your group can reword them but keep the intent.
3. Setting the tone: Chapter leaders set the emotional
culture for a group. Model greeting one another and encourage others to do so. Try to avoid noting that the group is small
or people are missing. Keep the focus on those present.
4. Inclusive: Make sure informal conversations are of
general interest or fill-in back ground information for new participants to avoid having the group feel like a clique. Explain
acronyms and avoid jargon if possible.
4. Honor diversity: Increasingly groups are encouraging
one another to identify preferred pronouns. Invite people to let you know if this would make the group feel more comfortable.
5. Share the leadership: Encourage others to facilitate
meetings or part of a meeting if discussion is planned. Invite someone to join the state conference calls and then let them
be your chapter contact when you are unavailable or need a break.
6. Professional courtesy: be ready to make referrals to
other chapters and allied organizations. Mention that groups go through stages and how much you appreciate having people participate
and show support. Avoid characterizing a group as "struggling" or failing even if they have used that description.
7. Recognize that sometimes we are asked to deal with
complex situations that tax our skills or hook us emotionally. Reach out to someone you trust and ask them to be your confidant.
Take care of yourself.