8.Empower Your Team
Recruit New Members
Get People Involved:
Your goal is to get people’s attention, get them involved, then keep them as active members.
- Start with people you know — ask them to come to your club events (asking them in person works best).
- Go to places where you will be likely to find others interested in your club. Make announcements about upcoming activities.
- Directly ask people to get involved (one-on-one meetings).
- Hold events that attract people.
Get the word out!
KEEP YOUR TEAM ENGAGED
Key #1: One-On-One Meetings: Your Secret Weapon!
One-on-one meetings are just what they sound like: meeting with one person, individually. You can start with your leadership team (or people you think might want to join your leadership team).
Expand to other people who might want to join your club.
You can also set aside time during a meeting for a “Pair and Share:” try to pair a more experienced club member with a newcomer. Make sure they take notes and/or input information on a spreadsheet or app.
Schedule one-on-one meetings with each person on your team. Ask them what they’re interested in taking on as an action or event.
Share the vision and the workload.
Allow people to direct the conversation—the point is to learn about them, so let them do most of the talking.
One-on-One Meeting Tips:
- What inspired you to get involved with climate action?
- What do you hope to accomplish?
- Do you have any specific goals or campaigns you’re most interested in, or areas you’d like to focus on?
- What are your strengths, skills, or specific areas you’d like to be involved in? (see page 89)
- Have you or someone close to you been impacted by climate change?
Ask them to come to your next club meeting.
Perfect the Art of the One-on-One
Part 1: Interview a club member or potential club member. Use a notecard or spreadsheet and record their:
- Name ________________
- Year in School_______
- Contact Information_______
Part 2: Ask them to tell their story… why they care about the climate, how they’d like to be involved.
Part 3: Answer any questions they may have & tell them how they can be involved in the club (see Activity #8B).
KEY: Follow-up with new people right away to keep them on-board! Make it FUN!
Appreciations & Feedback
Part 1: Acknowledge individual team members:
- Let them know how much you appreciate their efforts and hard work. Let them know they are valued.
- The results may not have been exactly the way you would have done it… that’s part of the sharing responsibility and that’s okay.
- Be generous with your appreciations! Give positive feedback often.
- Consider acknowledging a couple of people publicly at each meeting. Or, do around the room, where everyone calls out an appreciation, popcorn style.
- Be specific about what went well.
- Put “Appreciations” on your next meeting agenda.
Part 2: Practice constructive feedback using the “Sandwich Method:”
In pairs or small groups, practice the ”Sandwich Method”:
Key #2: Community Building
Community-building is at the core of your club. People get involved mostly to connect with other people. If they don’t feel that connection, they won’t come back. Consciously set aside time to build relationships. Allow for social time (see page 30).
Clubs offer the opportunity for strong relationships to develop in a different category: shared values. These relationships may develop into close friendships, but you may not be best friends with all club members. Key is you are working together to make progress on issues that are important to you.
Key #3: Match People’s Strengths to Task
Find out the strengths, interests, and skills of your club members during One-on-One meetings.
Allow people to work on areas or projects that they are naturally drawn to (or would like to learn). See Activity #8C.
Key #4: Make Your Club Sustainable
- Share the Load: Having one person trying to do everything is NOT sustainable (see page 104)!
- Vote in the new Leadership Team in Spring, before school ends the year before.
- Hold organizational meetings over the summer to hit the road running in the upcoming school year (Hold “Board Retreats” such as pool parties, potlucks, or picnics ~ mixing club business and fun).
Discover the Strengths of Your Team
Part 4: Use One-On-One meetings to discover your team member’s strengths. Ask them:
- What types of activities do you consider to use your key strengths? (Give them some hints. People usually have multiple areas.)
- What types of activities are you interested in?
- What type of roles do you like to be in, typically?
- Are there any skills you’d like to learn in the club setting or new roles you might like to explore? (Encourage your team members to use the club to learn new skills. )
Allow people to try new things, to grow and learn!
ASK TEAMMATES TO STEP UP
Be Prepared with Specific Ideas
People enjoy feeling like they are contributing. Make it easy for them to get involved:
1. During one-on-one meetings, be prepared with very specific ideas about what they can do:
2. Ask them where they’d like to help out and try to find something that aligns with their interests.
3. Make it easy for new people to “wade-in” with some easy, starter tasks.
Build a Strong Team: Use People’s Strengths
RUN GREAT MEETINGS
Key #1: Greet People
Have a plan to greet and welcome new people, which helps them feel connected and valued.
Assign specific club member to greet people at the upcoming meeting (you may choose to rotate the greeter role every meeting, month, or semester).
Sign-up sheet or app: keep people engaged by following up with them right away with a personal email, text or call. Thank them for coming to the meeting and invite them to an upcoming club event or social.
Set up a one-on-one meeting (see page 83) with new people to find out how they want to be involved. You can also pair up during a meeting. Pass out notecards for people to record information. Have a leadership team member keep information organized and available.
Key #2: Use an Agenda
Key #3: Give Everyone a Voice
Make sure meetings stay focused on goals, but also build in social time.~
– Megan, HS EC
|CLUB MEETING TOPICS:||SAMPLE MEETING OUTLINE|
Get to know members and familiarize them with your events & campaigns.
Name and Year in school
Start with a Fun Question:
If you could protect any place in the world, where would you protect?
Event & Campaign Updates:
Tell new members where you are, what progress you’ve made, where you plan to go, and how can they get involved? be and why?
Ask Each Member:
Do you have any goals you’d like to achieve?
If you have an activity or task for them to do, you can pull it out here.
Key #4: Keep Track of Action Items
Make sure each meeting has a notetaker to keep track of decisions: who will be doing what and by when? Use a simple chart (see example) or make up another way to keep track.
It’s important to have someone follow-up on each item. Consider assigning a chair or co-chairs for each project. They can put together a team and meet separately as a sub-committee.
Getting Things Done:
Have a notetaker keep a record of meeting date, who was present, what decisions were made, etc:
|IDEA or GOAL:||WHAT? (SPECIFIC TASK)||WHO WILL TAKE LEAD?||BY WHEN?||FOLLOW-UP or NEXT STEPS?|
Create print material:
Contact related clubs that might have interested members
Enlist friends who might want to join
Use social media tools
Key #5: GIVE PEOPLE SOMETHING TO DO
At every meeting, have a short activity people can DO—keeps them engaged. Could be a simple activity (like letter-writing or quick art project or a social exercise).
Next, give them something to do beyond the meeting… perhaps they’ll take on an on-going role?
MAKE YOUR CLUB WELCOMING & INCLUSIVE
Aim for inclusiveness at your meetings. Recognize there’s a place for everyone, despite (or because of) differences.
Have a plan for how you will welcome new people, despite age or abilities (see page 90).
Ask people basic questions about themselves. Make them feel positive about showing up to the club meeting or event. Encourage new people to have a voice.
How to Make Your Club More Inclusive?
Part 1: Pair up and share:
Tell about a time you went to something and you felt welcomed and like you belonged: _____________________________________________________
Part 2: Pair up and share:
Now tell about a time when you went to something where you were not included: _____________________________________________________
What clues do these experiences give you about your meetings? How can you ensure your meetings and club events are inclusive and welcoming to everyone? Call out ideas as a group: _____________________________________________________
Meeting Pro Tips:
- Aim for consensus-based decision-making:
Ex: “Let’s decide on whether to show a documentary in November…how about something on the food system?”
- Anyone want to tweak?
Ex: “How about if we show something on renewable energy, instead?”
- If someone disagrees or voices dissention, see if you can all reach a compromise.
- If there’s still disagreement, then take a vote.
Make sure the decision-making process is transparent!
Establishing Club Meeting Guidelines
Part 1: Research Meeting Guidelines
Check out the SD350.org policy manual or other websites on meeting guidelines and norms (see Resources section on website).
List which meeting norms you would like to adopt as a club. Come up with a list and approve together:
Part 2: Decision-Making Process
Have a few members research decision-making processes and present to your club. What sounds like the best fit for your club? As a club, decide how you’ll make decisions and make it an official policy:
Helix High School, La Mesa, CA
“To empower your team, go for inclusiveness. Everyone should be and can be a part of the movement. So appeal to all, not just certain groups of people. Whether they know nothing about the environment or everything under the sun, anyone can make a change.”
WHAT I’VE LEARNED:
“It’s okay to be clueless and to start new adventures alone. It’s uncomfortable at first to state your mind to a group of strangers, but at the end of the day, it’s needed. Your voice matters, and it’s stronger than you think.”
Meisha founded the environmental club at her high school. She also plays basketball and chairs her dance team.
Activities: Planning events, motivating teens to take action, working as a team.
Highlights: As part of SD350’s Youth Summer Program, I helped organize a die-in at a congressional office, worked on logistics, and and figured out the roles for participants and volunteers.