Every day we slog through the routine grind of making lunches, pulling unwilling kids out of bed, and getting them off to school. We fight traffic to get to the office and the minute we arrive an inbox of email awaits us. Meetings dot our calendar and our day is already pre-planned. The routine grind is demanding. It pulls us in and focuses us on our stuff. Our work, our problems, our goals, and our to-dos for today.
The big opportunity for us as association professionals is to do the hard work of pulling up out of the routine grind and focus on our members. Their work, their problems, their goals, and their to-dos for today. We are not our members, so anticipating what we would do in their situation does not work but, cultivating curiosity about them does work. What happens when we rewrite this email? Oh, we just discovered a problem members are having, can we solve it this way?
This kind of work is gratifying but it is also difficult so, the trick is to remember to switch from an us-focus to a member-focus often, so often that eventually it becomes more effortless.