Lunchtime Links: When It’s Time to Ditch the Membership Cards

The story of one organization that eliminated membership cards, while keeping everyone's interests in mind. Also: Communication techniques for the defensive.

The story of one organization that eliminated membership cards, while keeping everyone’s interests in mind. Also: communication techniques for when you’re on the defensive.

Some people like membership cards, but are they worth the hassle or the cost? The tale of an association’s seamless change, in today’s Lunchtime Links:

No cards needed: In case you hand out membership cards to your members and are looking for a way to ditch them, check out David M. Patt’s story of a small association that did just that. Patt outlines the association’s decision-making process, noting the pluses (printing the cards was expensive) and the minuses (members liked the cards and often were required to show them to employers) of discontinuing them. Ultimately, the association dropped the cards—but in a way that took into account the concerns of those who wanted or needed them, offering much of the same information in letter form. “There have been no requests for membership cards in the 12 months since the change took place,” Patt writes.

The dangers of playing defense: Do you often find yourself caught up in communication conflicts where you’re stuck defending yourself? That’s not a good thing, according to Harvard Business Review contributor and business psychiatrist Mark Goulston, M.D. His advice? Approach the conversation with solution-oriented mindset that considers the other person’s arguments, instead of wasting energy on personal issues. “By being unflappable and standing up for the principles of fairness, and reason, and mutual best interest, you will be better able to stand up for what’s right—and stand up to them in a way that is neither defensive [nor] provoking,” he says. Very smart piece for those who regularly find themselves butting heads.

Be gone, noisy tab! If you’re a web browser (and most of you are), you know this situation: You’re surfing the internet, you have a bunch of tabs open, and suddenly, one of them starts randomly auto-playing a loud ad. Unfortunately, you can’t tell which one it is, so you end up closing them all, or shutting them one by one until you find the culprit. Annoying, right? Fortunately for you, Google’s on the case, and the latest beta of its Chrome browser now offers users an audio indicator to show which tab is killing your focus. The feature will eventually make its way to the regular version, but if you’re willing to walk on the wild side and download the beta: You’re welcome.

What’s on your reading list today? Tell us in the comments.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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