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PFLAG Pacific Northwest

Notices From The Regional Director, Kathy Reim

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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.

Contact:

Kathy Reim
Pacific Northwest Regional Director, PFLAG
(360) 856 4676

National PFLAG Web Site: www.pflag.org
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