We Asked, You Answered: Spooky Association Fears

During the scariest time of year, we asked our readers how they battle their most terrifying association fears.

Ghosts, monsters, and witches aren’t the only things frightening us this Halloween. In the association world, there are plenty of real-life fears that can keep you up at night.

We asked our readers what fears they have successfully overcome or are working to overcome. From risk-taking to public speaking, find out what gives your fellow association execs a scare.

Rachel Whitaker

Membership Engagement Coordinator, San Francisco Dental Society

The fear of being wrong or failing. Ever since I was young, I would hold myself back from trying anything because I was so afraid that I may be wrong or that I may fail. I was smart in school and usually knew the answer, but I wouldn’t raise my hand because I was afraid of being wrong in front of the whole class. Everything I did had to be carefully calculated to mitigate the risk of me not succeeding. I have had to force myself out of that box, take risks, learn new things, and sometimes fail. And guess what? The world doesn’t end when I am wrong. Failures are just another way to learn things.

Katherine Giovetsis

Account Executive, Association Headquarters

Public speaking. To help their employees overcome the fear of public speaking, AH formed its own chapter of Toastmasters. Account executives, as well as other employees, were required to attend bimonthly Toastmasters meetings and have active participation. Although I dreaded these meetings in the beginning (because of my public speaking fear), I grew to look forward to them. I do believe that they helped me gain confidence when addressing an audience or, on a much smaller scale, my board.

Charity Quick

CEO, AACE International

Risk-taking. Associations are typically very risk-averse, but in order to engage, grow, and meet unmet demand, we needed to do some new “scary” things. Presenting “radical” ideas in a way that shows how you will manage the risks, reap potential rewards, and engage members all with a solid business case makes it less risky.

Christina Martin

Director of Membership Forums, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists

Crucial conversations with my supervisor, with my direct reports, and even with my own peers. Super scary!

(FOTOKITA/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Raegan Johnson

By Raegan Johnson

Raegan Johnson is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!