I’m reading a book right now entitled, “Keeping the People Who Keep You in Business: 24 ways to hang on to your most valuable talent.” It started out as a growing, personal interest in corporate culture but I quickly saw the correlation between employee retention and member retention. One of the exercises it suggests was admitting to yourself what you are most hesitant to tell a prospective employee (or in my mind — member).
When member-based organizations talk about improving processes we frequently begin the conversation with “What keeps you up at night?” but maybe asking yourself what you are most afraid of someone finding out about your group gets to the pain point quicker. “What keeps you up at night?” exposes the concern. “What are you most afraid of someone finding out about your organization?” addresses the nightmare.
What keeps me up at night?
Member recruitment. I want more members.
What am I most afraid of this potential member finding out about my organization?
That there’s a local group on LinkedIn that he/she will think does exactly what we do with no membership dues.
That question gets there faster. Sure, you’re afraid of not making your membership goals but you’re petrified of potential members not seeing the value behind your organization. That’s the greater fear. That’s the fear exposed.
Once you know you’re deep-rooted fear, you can begin to put steps in place to alleviate it. Acknowledging that it is exists and recognizing its source is the first step. If you merely look at what’s keeping you up at night, you’re slapping a band-aid on the wound without giving thought to what the source/cause of the bleeding is.
What are you afraid they’ll find out?