There’s a Right Way and a Wrong Way to do Just About Everything
No different than the Secretary of a lodge, I as the state association’s Secretary become the go-to person for the state on an assortment of questions and matters. Many I can assist with but some I cannot. I try very hard to be a reliable resource for our members, yet when it comes to disgruntled lodge members, I become just another frustration for them. More often than not, a member has reached out to me because their letters to the Grand Exalted Ruler or the Chicago headquarters office have gone unanswered. Many even write in their letters to me that they already know theirs to me, too, will go unanswered, and to me that just reinforces their level of frustration and their desperation to get someone to listen to them. And listen is usually the key. Most times they are just looking for someone to listen! In resolving conflict, we are taught that often when a person complains, they are really just looking for someone to listen to them and their dilemma. They may not be looking for you to solve their problem. They are probably just looking for someone to acknowledge the legitimacy of their concern or provide clarity on how better to present it. Listen long enough and they will probably even tell you they aren’t looking for a resolution. Sometimes just letting them get it off their chest is resolution enough! However, for those truly seeking resolve, the aim of this article is to help you avoid frustration in your quest. Read on and you will get some of my suggestions on the right way and the wrong way to get someone to listen!
It’s Time to Rededicate Yourself to Your Lodge
Over the years, as I have penned my messages, I have tended to focus much of my encouragement and support on the active members of our lodges — namely those members operating our lodges, hosting the events, supporting the events, and doing most of the work. In this message, however, I would like to speak openly to another important constituency in our lodges, an often overlooked constituency, a group of members we know exist but whom we tend to write off, and a contingency we obviously need but one we make it all too easy to ignore. Those members are our CCMs, also known as our card-carrying members!
This special group is due our respect and has a rightful place in our organization, regardless of their reasons for belonging to this esteemed group. In fact, when you think about it, we all became members of this elite group the night we became Elks! The question we must ask, then, is why someone remains a member of this group when we have so much more to offer!