. . . is exactly what you’ll say when you lose that last bar of cell phone service, indicating that you’ve left the civilized world, 4G, and wi-fi behind.
Brotherhood retreats often have you wandering through the woods, which is both peaceful and frustrating.
When you’re with your brothers and you venture into the wilderness where a smart phone becomes a not-so-smart paperweight, having the right fraternity communication tools can make a world of difference.
Maybe you’re thinking right now that you’ll take your chances.
Frankly, you’ve been in more remote places than this and still able to watch HD YouTube videos of raccoons and their hilarious hijinks for hours.
Oh, the irony.
However, our point is this: Communication in the digital age brings with it the need for software tools, mobile apps, and a solid internet connection. Yet there are times that getting back to basics requires you to let go of the trappings of modern life and bond with brothers the old-fashioned way.
Fraternity life teaches you to lead, to be independent, and to rely on yourself and your brothers.
Once you have the right fraternity communication tools to accomplish these goals, you can:
- use software to accent real-life bonds, rather than stay online but disconnected from one another
- learn skills that help you build relationships in your personal and professional life once you graduate
- help your chapter thrive
Let’s take a closer look at Fraternity Communication Tools for When You Have Zero Bars.
Communicating Good Chapter Leadership to New Members
Being a chapter leader comes with more responsibility than just an executive board officer title.
It means stepping into a role where you must bring brothers together. You must keep the older brothers engaged and stave off senioritis. Meanwhile, you also need to help new members find their voice and role within the chapter.
It’s a big task, but having the right communication tools can help.
Often you develop these skills as a group during fraternity retreats, or in other scenarios where you can have personal bonding experiences and a chance to connect face to face.
During these times, it’s important to have brothers log off from social media and get away from the online grind for a bit.
It’s a time for your fraternity to get back to basics.
As a leader, you’re likely in a role where you’re guiding the agenda.
Here are a few tips for new member retreats:
- Model empathy for the group and listen to new members’ ideas.
- Encourage participation.
- Always guide communication by your chapter’s values.
- Encourage new members and established members to bond, forming the basis of mentor/mentee relationships.
- Keep the experience organized and goal-oriented, with achievable chapter objectives.
- Place education at the forefront, but don’t just lecture; consider that, when given a platform, new members can teach established brothers and help you grow as well.
The biggest leadership communication tool you can model for new members is this: Leave the “upperclassmen” mentality at the door, and strive to make everyone feel included and heard. Make them feel like they’re already a part of your chapter. Because they will be tomorrow’s leaders.
Passing the Baton During Officer Transitions
When executive roles change hands, officer transition seminars provide a way to keep chapter management running as seamlessly as possible.
These bonding experiences also allow new officers to settle into their roles in a low-pressure, engaging, and productive way, with the help of outgoing officers.
According to the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, “Transition can make the difference between a twenty-year-old chapter having twenty years’ experience or the same chapter having one-year experience, twenty times. Few events will affect the immediate future of the chapter more than the transition from one executive council to another.”
What this means is that growth and experience for a fraternity chapter is cumulative.
When officers pass on their roles to their brothers, they’re handing over years if not decades of effort and earned wisdom.
Here are a few officer transition retreat tips:
- Work hard at helping new and outgoing officers connect and discuss the role.
- Print necessary documents to bring to the retreat or save them electronically.
- Mix one-on-one communication between officers and bringing everyone back to a group discussion for overall goals for the retreat.
- Set individual goals for new officers, as well as chapter goals all officers can work toward together.
- Feed everyone, so they’re focused on the task at hand, not their stomachs.
- Be candid about the current executive council’s accomplishments and failures. Discuss how those could be improved upon by incoming executives.
New officers bring new ideas, but they aren’t starting from scratch. Communicating established norms and accomplishments of each officer role is a crucial part of the transition.
Communication Software: Reconnecting with Civilization
When you emerge from the trees with your newfound bonds (and hopefully not too many mosquito bites), it’s time to get back to the chapter house and reality.
In the end, it’s impossible for a fraternity to avoid the digital world and chapter software tools that are the norm of modern-day brotherhood.
But retreats can teach you how to use your software in a productive way that accents your real-world communication.
Good fraternity communicators use software to:
- plan and schedule events and goals that bring brothers together
- send event updates and coordinate roles for maximum attendance and participation
- give the right information to the right brothers at the right time, so everyone’s dialed in to the specific conversations that help them accomplish their goals
You can accomplish all these goals and more using OmegaFi’s all-in-one premium chapter communication software: OmegaOne.
OmegaOne can accent your communication and chapter planning, with features like: event and study hour management; a shared chapter calendar; custom-tailored officer-to-brother communication and file sharing; paying members’ chapter bills online; and much more.
Have questions or comments about fraternity communication? Leave them in the comments below!