Did You Hear the Gossip?

by Dr. Colleen Coffey-Melchiorre

gossipI have been thinking a lot lately about gossip, particularly among women in organizations.  I am not sure if it is because I am literally immersed with all women’s organizations all day everyday or because I have been a victim of gossip and am now a STAUNCH advocate against it- it is probably a little bit of both.

What I wonder is… Why do we do it?  What does gossip accomplish and how does it impact organizations?

I think that we gossip to waste time and have something to do, to feel better about ourselves and/or lift ourselves to a different standing, or to make sure other people see the world through our lens. The gossiper is often insecure, bored, mis-informed, and dramatic in nature.

If you let it, gossip has the power to transform organizations, change lives, alter view points, and take up a whole lot of time.
It has been stated that “to change a human is to change humanity.” When we gossip it negatively impacts a person — someone who was uniquely and lovingly created to impact the world. So the impact gossip makes is not only on an individual but on the rest of the world in which they belong.

You know what else has the power to transform organizations, change lives, and alter view points? Social Excellence.

I invite you to spend time checking out our message about the importance of curiosity, generosity, authenticity, and vulnerability. What would happen if women (and men) in organizations stopped gossiping and used that time to build healthy, meaningful relationships with one another?

Today, when you hear gossip, feel yourself gossiping, or find yourself on the receiving end of some juicy gossip, just say, “Sorry about this, but I’m actually trying to reduce gossip in my life. Can we talk about something else?”

The lifestyle of Social Excellence is built from momentary bold choices to live as the best version of you.  Be bold enough and courageous enough to stop gossip when you hear it today — it could change your organization, it could change a life, it could change humanity.

Be an Org Donor

by Josh Orendi

organ-donationThere’s a deep sense of altruism associated with giving blood, bone marrow, a kidney, and even putting that little red heart on our driver’s license.  It makes many of us feel good. A friend of mine told me “I like knowing that my legacy can live on through the life of another.”  Somehow we know we’re doing the right thing when we commit to give away something so special to save or enhance the life of another.  And, we hope that others would do the same for us.

Reminder:  They have!

YOU were already the recipient of an Org Donor.  A man or woman that is the reason you became a member of your ORGANization.  That person changed your life.  They gave you an opportunity that resulted in an enhanced life full of new friendships that will last a lifetime.  Part of their legacy lives on through the work that you do.  What an amazing gift.

Thinking about the ORGANization that has changed your life, you have an opportunity to Give the Gift of membership.  There are people in your community that NEED your organization (many don’t even know it yet).  There are people in your community who would make your organization better if they were members (many you don’t even know yet).  You have a chance to be an Org Donor.

That same friend was with me at a mobile blood center on a college campus.  In full disclosure, I like the idea of donating blood but I HATE needles.  He must have seen my discomfort and said, “come on, let’s go … sure it hurts a little, sure it’s a little inconvenient, but isn’t it worth it if a life we’re helping change might be a person that changes the world.”  (You can tell he’s been to a Phired Up program or two!)

My mind always drifts to recruitment.  Love your organization enough to give it away.  Change the World!  Be an Org Donor.

Here’s the website to learn more about becoming an organ donor:  http://www.organdonor.gov/
Here’s the website to learn more about becoming an organization donor:  http://www.phiredup.com

Change the Status Quo: A Legacy

[Editor's Note: Thanks to Bradley for contributing this piece.  In the fraternity world, Bradley's one of "the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes." Enjoy.]

by Bradley Charlesworth, Coordinator of New Media & Public Relations, Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity (Guest Blogger)

silver-apple-logoIn the 8th grade I designed my own video game on a teal iMac at Baldwin Magnet Junior High School in Montgomery, Ala. That day I fell in love with Apple’s unique ability to allow it’s users to innovate and create. That was the legacy of Apple’s cofounder, Steve Jobs. Since 1976, Steve’s passion and Apple’s mission has been to bring innovative hardware, software and Internet offerings to the world. In his effort to bring innovation to the masses, he changed the roles computers, music and phones play in our everyday life. Though he has inspired many dynamic, enjoyable and downright magical products, I think his legacy will be his ability to innovate and change the status quo.

In fact, in Simon Sinek’s popular Ted Talk, he makes the argument that the reason Apple constantly outperforms its competitors is because of it’s why: to change the status quo. Though few of us have worked with Steve Jobs or even met him, each of us have undoubtedly written a paper on a MacBook, FaceTimed with a distant family member on an iPhone, watched a Pixar film or been moved by Job’s Stanford commencement speech. While we may not be personally affected by his untimely death, I think as members of organizations that’s very purpose is challenged by non-believers each and everyday, we can all learn from his legacy to change the status quo.

When you walk through your daily life as a fraternity man or woman, attempt to act out Jobs’ why and change the status quo. Change the way people see fraternities and our purpose by intentionally connecting with others, by engaging in meaningful conversation, by acting in a respectable manner and by living everyday with integrity as the best version of yourself.

Just as Steve Jobs made products that were beautifully designed, powerful to use and user friendly; maybe we can make fraternities beautifully designed, powerful to use and people friendly.

What’s Your Story?

by Matt Mattson

whats-your-storyThem: “So, what’s this organization you’re a part of all about?”

You: “When I was young, I always wanted to be a part of something important, didn’t you?  I wanted to matter.  I wanted to do something truly remarkable.  You know what I mean?  I found that in this organization. Let me give you an example.  A group of us recently did this amazing project that took sweat, hard work, and long hours, and the whole time I was smiling for two reasons — the other members I was working with were amazing, driven, passionate people; and the work we were doing was changing lives — we were making a difference.  I looked in the eyes of the people we were helping and the other members of my organization and I saw a reflection of the best of me.  This group is helping me become a better person.  We are working together to make a real change in the world, and along the way we’re becoming better versions of ourselves. You’re like me… you value the same things. You want to matter. Do you have something like this in your life? Would you like to join us next time we’re doing a project like that?”

When you have the rare opportunity to explain your organization to someone, do you know how to make the most of it?

Unfortunately many people waste those opportunities by talking about what their organization does.

Tell a story. Tell a personal, emotional, directional, and invitational story.  Do not convey facts, figures, or data.  Inspire.  Connect on a Heart-to-Heart level.

Attempt to share a story that includes all four of these elements.

Personal: Your organization is an important part of your life. So tell a personal story. Dr. Brene Brown (who we’ve mentioned before) suggests that life is really all about interpersonal connection. People want to connect with people on a deep instinctual level.  Get to the heart of what your listener really wants to hear — a personal story, a testimonial about how your organization has changed your life for the better.  Make your story personal.

Emotional: Passion, excitment, sorrow, struggle, joy, fulfillment, rage, justice, fanaticism, pride… Whatever emotion your organization evokes in you, share that with your listener.  When people are interested in associating with an organization, it is often for reasons rooted in the most primal parts of our brain — not logic, but emotion.  Start with Why. Share an story filled with emotion.

Directional: Where is your organization going? What is it trying to accomplish? Your story must communicate direction.  Not just what you have done.  Not just what you’re doing.  But where you’re going, what you’re going to do, and why you’re excited to be headed in that direction.  Vision. Share a story that communicates direction.

Invitational: Your personal story should include some space for them to imagine themselves. Share a story that invites an opportunity to create their own personal story.

We’ve discussed this topic before.  See this post from 2009, and this post from 2008.