Part of managing your emotions — be it anger, disappointment, angst, sadness — is understanding that we do not exist alone untouched. We each have a story, a history that shapes us and our actions, feeling, emotions. Before I start sounding too therapist-y, I want to suggest to you that understanding this fact actually helps you make deeper connections with your members.
Knowing that everyone has a story brings you to a place where you can begin to forge a lasting relationship. Social networking has become the tool in which we do so but you need to go beyond that. When talking with members, listen to what they’re saying, listen to their tone, their word choice, note their body language. What are they telling you? Make notes mentally (or in your membership management tool) on how you connected and what you talked about. At the next function or event, bring these items up again. Your members will feel valued and listened to.
This is basic social etiquette but something that falls by the wayside when we are rushed and preoccupied. Make it a point to be present in your interactions with members and they’ll be more apt to repay you with loyalty. Be genuine and show interest. You know you are interested, you know each person has a fascinating story, so take a moment and listen. We think you’ll be glad you did.