Leadership

Editor's Note: The Crusade for Quiet

By / Jul 1, 2013 (Fuse/Thinkstock)

Even the most outgoing people may feel drained after working an event. A little quiet time goes a long way towards mental clarity.

Spring and summer constitute peak meeting season for many associations. Here at ASAE, from about March through the August Annual Meeting, it seems the staff is constantly working in high gear on conference-related activities. If, as is often said, meetings are the lifeblood of an association, then at this time of year we’re all getting a pretty intense cardio workout.

I’m sure you know that drill—and what comes next: Your endurance is truly tested once you’re onsite. Your attendees likely feel the same way, as they race from education sessions to networking opportunities to fundraisers and parties from dawn to midnight. I’ve seen even the most outgoing association people completely drained by this highly social marathon, left thirsting for some quiet time. And the introverts among us are really, really parched.

Quiet is in dangerously short supply in the business world, we hear from journalist Susan Cain, who literally wrote the book on the subject. And the problem is especially acute in associations, which thrive on social interaction. “Everything is about group learning, group brainstorming, and group creativity sessions,” she tells Kristin Clarke in this issue. “There’s such a deep belief in it, but we’re missing out as a culture. It feels like we’re headed in the wrong direction.”

Association professionals of all types and temperaments are attending your meetings and engaging with you through the year. If you’ve found a way to make more room for productive quiet in your organization and at your events, tell us about it. Write to [email protected]

Julie Shoop

Julie Shoop is the Editor-in-Chief of Associations Now. More »

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