With the gracious support of the Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE), members of the Philippine Council of Associations and Association Executives (PCAAE) gained access to AuSAE’s “Strengthening Association Webinar Series.”
One of the webinars I attended was on building trust in dispersed teams (in the context of working from home), which was presented by Marie-Claire Ross, CEO and founder of Trustologie, a Melbourne-based consulting agency that specializes in providing the right trust leadership behaviours for leaders, teams and organizations.
In the association world, building trust is a key component of an association’s long-term relationship with its members. Relations are built on trust and it is good to always remember that associations are in the “relationship business.” Trust begins within the organization first.
The main takeaway I got from the presentation was the “SUCCEeD Together Trust Framework” consisting of six essential building blocks (below) which I have adapted in the context of associations:
S—Support. Leaders who care get the most from people. The question to ask yourself is: “How does your association and its Board support your secretariat/management officers and staff in doing their work the best they can?”
U—United to solve member problems. People relate to each other through purpose. Is your association’s “reason for being” clear to everyone else in the organization—your Board, staff, members and volunteers? How are you aligning your staff to understand the meaning behind their work and their impact to the association?
C—Clarity. Clear communication equals speed. Does your communication flow clearly and accurately within the organization? Are your communication channels to members and other stakeholders relevant and timely? Are your staff members certain of what is expected of them and what is going on in the organization?
C—Candor. Transparency is the hallmark of high performance. Are essential information—plans, policies, financial condition, etc.—known within the association? Are your officers and staff openly discussing performance issues, concerns and challenges?
E—Empowered to grow. Growing an organization means growing people. The same is true for associations. Membership growth depends on the capacity of Board and management to grow themselves into a working team. One question to ask is: are staff members being challenged to make themselves and the organization better?
D—Dependable. Fundamental in an effective and inspiring team is that each one can count on each other to do the right thing. Teamwork is a prerequisite to building trust.
There are two things that association executives should not break: promises and trust. Credibility and trust are your “passport visas” to go places in the association world.
The column contributor, Octavio “Bobby” Peralta, is concurrently the secretary-general of the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific and the Founder & CEO of the Philippine Council of Associations and Association Executives. PCAAE is holding the Associations Summit 8 on November 25 and 26, 2020 at the Philippine International Convention Center which is expected to draw over 200 association professionals here and abroad. The two-day event is supported by Adfiap, the Tourism Promotions Board, and the PICC. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more details on AS8.