The benefits of belonging to a membership group

I have belonged to many groups, clubs and chambers over the years of doing business and life. These umbrella type organisations help us to connect, learn, engage, serve, earn and have fun.

How do we the members gain value? What are the key things we as members need to do to ensure success?

These two parties come together to create synergy, value, connections and the cross-roads of opportunity and the building of relationships. It is a two-way street. No organisation can offer workshops, breakfast functions, online learning, shows and listings without engagement from members.

Let me give you some examples from real life.

1. I go to a business breakfast event. I sit at a table with 6-8 other business owners. I make sure I have my business cards with me or link up straight away via LinkedIn. I am curious and ask questions about what they do. I connect with them after the event via email and in many cases set up some one on one time to get to know more about what they do and how we can possibly help one another.

2. One of the groups I belong to offer members the opportunity for an online learning hour once a month on a specific topic. I book the time in my diary and show up at the online session. I become more aware and get to know the other online delegates.

3. I have just started a small business and I know that there are some gaps in my knowledge and skill on certain key drivers of my business. The group I belong to, have a business show coming up and I make the time to go to the show. One never knows who you may meet or what you may learn.

These three examples may help you to get better value or make decisions about where you engage in the future.

Here are a few short points to challenge you:
• Be clear about who you are, what you are doing and how you can grow.
• Open yourself up to engage with others.
• Show up at events
• Be curious and ask questions
• Follow up after events to grow your networks and learning.
• Include online learning and engaging into your skill set.
• Giving to others often brings a sense of value and purpose

No investment in belonging to a group can be of any value if you are just an observer and do not engage. We all need one another. We are never to old to learn something new. Belonging is a key need in our lives. It takes two for a relationship to happen. Social engagement is one of the most important activities we need as we age to improve our outlook on life and to feel that we have purpose and belong.