Many Groups = Many Opportunities for Engagement
Each day, we meet new people to add to these groups. Life is very dynamic and not static in nature. The opportunities for engagement are endless. The longer one lives, the greater the volume of groups and memories to share. The memory bank grows over time.
I am amazed how many people who reside in different groups create individual perceptions of us based on various group associations. It's a complex process. In many cases, you have the same individuals in several of the same groups with you. How do you individually perceive them?
We live and work in the field of relationships. It is critical for us to study human behavior and interpret how best to interact with various types of people. Your goal is to create a positive link with someone in order to develop a long-term relationship. You hope to engage and motivate individuals in the best way possible. Make sure you think about groups and where your contacts fall into group dynamics.
You will never truly succeed in this business unless you care and understand ways to best engage people. It may take others that you know in other groups to open doors for you. Think about the best way to make the first approach memorable and build the relationship from the start. Be prepared for a long and very diverse ride. You quickly realize each individual group member is unique in a variety of ways. How often have you stopped and realized how complex this process is to achieve long-term results?
The next time you have a free moment, jot down the various groups you belong to and think about others in the same context. If you can relate to others on their interest levels or group dynamics, you will have a better understanding of the proper beginning point to a successful relationship. Think through the purpose of each engagement with a clear strategy. Practice makes perfect, and good luck with your next individual encounter. The excitement may be in the unknown ultimate short- and long-term results, which can never be totally controlled!
Duke Haddad, Ed.D., CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis. He also serves as president of Duke Haddad and Associates LLC and is a freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO since 2008.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration plus a dissertation on donor characteristics. He received a master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis on public administration plus a thesis on annual fund analysis. He secured a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) with an emphasis on marketing/management. He has done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
Duke has received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter. He also was given the Outstanding West Virginian Award, Kentucky Colonel Award and Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, for his many career contributions in the field of philanthropy.