When sisters come to you with problems, you’re chatting on your phone or texting.
National advisors call to discuss an important chapter issue, but you’re posting pics of you drinking a pumpkin spice frap on Facebook and Instagram.
Your sisters are pounding the books during study hours. You’re blogging about the *amazing* Taylor Swift concert last weekend. She sang all your favorites, and you will diligently list them all.
Technically, dear sorority president, you’re “communicating.”
But if you ask your sisters, they might have very different words to describe what you’re doing.
To them, it feels more like you’re shutting them out, neglecting the chapter and wrapped up in yourself.
Not a good look on you, pres.
Don’t fret though. You can begin managing sorority communication effectively today. In fact, you can start as soon as you finish reading this.
OmegaFi will have you and your chapter on the same page in no time. Communication Is the Difference between a Good Sorority President and a Bad One.
A Bad Sorority President Lacks Clarity
One of the worst things a sorority president can do is send mixed signals--or no signals at all.
Sisters rely on executive officers to set the tone for the chapter, and when managing new members, this problem can be compounded. Some of the more seasoned sisters may need less direction. However, new members require a ton of guidance. If they aren’t getting it from their president, they’re going to get conflicting ideas about sisterhood.
A president who isn’t committed to unifying her chapter’s mission and values in the eyes of new members will lead the chapter to diverge from the core principles that have made it strong.
If a sorority president doesn’t take a leadership role during executive meetings, chapter and other sessions where chapter functions are planned, this can lead to an unclear vision and missed opportunities to execute a truly successful semester.
No sister wants a president whose edicts they can’t figure out, who doesn’t lead them in any clear, compelling direction.
A bad sorority president will never inspire her sisters because she has nothing inspiring to say.
A Good Sorority President Has a Message
Your chapter has a new big-time philanthropy project with a local cancer research hospital. It’s going to put you on the map. When sisters aren’t working on other chapter responsibilities or studying, they’re going full force to make this project a hit.
Each sister has a distinct role. She knows what you expect of her and when she needs to complete each task. She feels encouraged by your praise.
It’s well-earned, you tell her.
Does this sound like a dream chapter?
Through strong communication, you can achieve chapter goals like this and make it look easy.
The secret? As a sorority president, you need to have a message worthy of your chapter’s core values.
You guide sisters toward goals by communicating in a straightforward and consistent manner. This includes when you praise and reprimand them, when they confide in you in the middle of the night, in written communications and beyond.
Study hours are study hours. Chapter goals have deadlines. Sisters are expected to show up and do their parts, and you’re clear about those expectations from day one.
One way to keep your message at the forefront of chapter management is through the executive committee. Make sure you’re on the same page with your vice president, and update your strategic plan as necessary.
It also helps to keep in close contact with national advisors and key alumnae, to help keep your vision of the chapter aligned with the national sorority’s expectations and goals. Touch base with sorority higher ups weekly, if possible.
If you’re confident in your plan, you’ll carry that confidence into chapter meetings and when you interact with your sisters in general.
A Bad Sorority President Never Adapts
At least ten sisters have complained separately to you about a sorority management decision you made. None of them really understands why you did what you did. You didn’t really explain it, after all. Even after the decision led to a clear failure, you wouldn’t admit it.
You threaten your disgruntled sisters with extra house cleaning duties if they don’t drop the subject immediately. You’re the queen bee around here, period.
Have you ever heard the term “mutiny?” Because your sisters are about to educate you.
Sorority presidents who don’t adapt their communications will lead their sisters to failure.
If you never bend, your sisters will break.
A Good Sorority President Always Works to Improve Her Communications
Look for weak spots in your chapter management and communication. Pay equal attention to both. The two go hand in hand.
If you’re worried your communication might be going awry, here are some questions you should ask yourself (and answer honestly):
- Do sisters grasp your expectations?
- Do they act counter to chapter values?
- Do chapter goals fall by the wayside?
- Do others defer to your leadership during planning sessions?
- Are your goals compatible with those of your national sorority?
Attend sorority leadership conferences, as well as other nationals meetings where you can serve as an undergraduate delegate. These are a great way to get your bearings as a chapter leader, as well as hone your communication skills. Keep a close eye on national goals and initiatives. This will help you forge a stronger connection between your chapter and national sorority.
Since sisters have different schedules and are in and out of the house, try using sorority communication software to get everyone on the same page, whether they’re on or off campus.
While you’re doing all that communicating, also take the time to listen to your sisters. After all, your chapter’s not a monarchy. The more you let sisters have a say, the more their good ideas can help lead you. You need them as much as they need you. That’s what sisterhood is all about.
As a sorority president, what techniques do you use to communicate with your chapter? Share your thoughts in the comments below.