In any group or organization full of passionate leaders, conflicts are bound to surface. PRSSA Chapters are no different. Conflicts will happen. It is best to deal with them upfront and fast.
If you have a problem in your Chapter, talk to your Chapter Adviser first and foremost. Your Adviser should provide knowledge and advice about the situation. Do not spread problems throughout the executive board or general membership.
After you talk to your Adviser about the issue, there are a few other things to do. If it is a one-on-one problem with a member, address the problem with the member directly. Set up a meeting with the person, the Adviser and yourself to resolve the problem.
If a problem arises with a member of your executive board, deal with it directly within the executive board and do not involve general Chapter members. If the problem spreads in your Chapter, it might split up your Chapter and cause cliques or further problems. Make sure you reign in the problem before it snowballs out of control.
To prevent problems from happening, get to know your executive board members and look for feedback from meetings and events. Develop a closeness and understanding between your members, Advisers and executive board. Do not exclude members and try to include everyone in every activity, meeting and event.
Sometimes there are problems that cannot be solved even with discussion of the issue or have become so far out of control that it is hard to see the end result. If that happens, sometimes one must walk away and understand it is best to move past the issue. Do not continue to make the already escalated problem worse.
It may also help to reach out to the National Committee, especially your region contact, and PRSSA’s National Advisers Sonja Popp-Stahly, APR and Bob “Pritch” Pritchard, APR, Fellow PRSA for help as well.
This is a guest post by Vice President of Public Relations Lauren Gray.