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November 2, 2018 Unfurling That Control-Freak Flag

Tips for charity auction events

I was flying out of the Atlanta airport recently and had managed to snag seat 12C, my trusty aisle seat that I grab whenever I can get it. I love to look out of the window when flying, especially on departure and landing. It helps maintain my equilibrium. Before we took off on this particular flight, the person sitting next to the window pulled it closed. WHAT?!? Well, I guess ownership of the window seat is nine-tenths of the law.

This incident caused me to reflect on control-type personalities. Jean Kirchner, our auction coordinator, and I both have very controlling personalities. We actually laugh at ourselves, and each other, very often. It’s good that we recognize it and are able to laugh. There are many charities who have staff and volunteers who have this issue and they are not able to laugh, but instead experience great frustration among themselves. Here are some insights that might be helpful.

Let It GO – One thing that I’ve learned in business, you must let go of some tasks and particular ways of doing things. HOW you get to the finish line is not as important as that you GET to the finish line. I may drive to my office from the south and Jean may arrive from the east but we both arrive at the same location. She didn’t have to follow the same route I did to be correct. The goal was to arrive at the office, and we both achieved the goal. You can apply this same concept to your charity auction event team.

Hold People Accountable – When delegating, it’s important to hold your team accountable. Set realistic goals, a timeframe to reach those goals and make sure the goals are achievable. Then consistently follow up with the team to confirm they’ve reached their goals. This isn’t being a control freak, it’s simply making sure things are getting done.

Team work is a vital part of a successful event. If someone is failing to carrying their part of the load or causing issues within the team, I recommend you have a very frank conversation with them. Do this sooner rather than later. And by all means, don’t discuss the situation with other people. Go directly to the person involved. Hammering these things out as they occur will save you a lot of headache in the long run. Taking control in this situation is a good thing.

Communication and delegation are important when you are working on a team. Knowing when you need to let your control freak flag fly and when to reign it in is an important skill.

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