131: Working with Other Officers

Portuguese: 131: Trabalhando com Outros Oficiais

Synopsis

The purpose of this course is to give officers an idea of where their job duties may overlap with other offices, and how to communicate with those other offices in these events to ensure that the task is fulfilled.

Shared Responsibility

Storytellers and Coordinators share a duty of ensuring the well being and good experiences of the members when they attend Mind’s Eye Society sponsored games and events, and when they are participating with the larger club as a whole.  Working in conjunction, the officers will have to communicate to ensure that information is provided to the members on when events are taking place, and that any concerns or issues the members have are addressed.  To give you an idea of the instances when communication between officers is necessary, below are provided some specific examples.

  • When Storytellers are planning on hosting a game, and the Coordinators need to confirm the game site and make an announcement of the event.
  • When officers convey information or instructions to assistants.
  • When filing monthly reports, storytellers submit their prestige recommendations to Coordinators.
  • When Storytellers request confirmation of MC levels from Coordinators.
  • When setting up an event or combined game between more than one venue, domain, or region.
  • When handling disciplinary actions and communicating findings.

While not all inclusive, this list should provide some general idea on when you might expect to have to work with other officers.

Working Together

When a project or issues arises that requires the attention of more than one officer, it’s important that initiative be taken to contact the officers.  Generally a supervising or presiding officer for an event should take on that responsibility, or the officer who was contacted by a member with the concern.  A clear goal or issue should be stated to allay any confusion, and any information that they have on the matter.  Once the goal has been stated, communication can be opened on the topic.  Most projects that arise such as meetings, charity events, games, and disciplinary actions have education documents available for you to read on the topic to give you and the other officers involved a place to start.

In most cases, officers should be able to communicate their objectives and come to a decision together quite readily. Policies on most joint duties should have procedures in place in most established domains and chapters.  If something new comes up, a quick conversation between coordinators and storytellers, or between an officer and his assistants, should take care of the issue.  Holding a domain or chapter meeting with the members is a good way to obtain a lot of ideas or information on how to handle a situation outside of investigations.  The officers can then utilize what they’ve found to come to a conclusion.

However, some situations aren’t so easily handled.  Whenever a group comes together to work on a project, there will often be a difference of interpretation and experiences that lead to a conflict of opinions on how a certain task should be approached.  Both opinions are valid, but for one reason or another, the two may not see eye to eye.  In the event of these situations, it’s important that some simple policies should be observed to ensure that the conflict is resolved so that progress can be made.

  1. Research – Consult the Membership handbook, read up on the wiki about what’s been done before in this situation.  Find out if the club has any standing policy.

  2. Listen – There is a reason why the other officer is expressing that opinion.  Find out the reasoning, and compare it to your own.  If there’s a good reason, an idea should be considered.  Find the similarities between opinions, and work from there.

  3. Exchange – Unless there’s a precedent for a situation that sets its practice in stone, or a rule that has to be abided by from the handbook, then it’s good to have a give and take relationship.  Decide where you have to hold firm, but be ready to give some things up and make deals.  Often a collaborative idea is better than one from a single person.  If that doesn’t work, then maybe you do it the other officers way, and next time they do it yours.

  4. Take a Step Back- If all else fails, ask a supervising officer to issue a decision on the matter, or give some instructions to an assistant and have them handle the situation for you, and then abide by the decisions made. Sometimes people just can’t see eye to eye, but a third set of ears and eyes can find common ground.

There will always be a chance for conflict, but the officer needs to uphold their duty to the club of ensuring that the members are treated fairly and having a good time.  If both officers have this primary goal in mind, then a solution to any issue can be found.

Conclusion

It’s important to work with other officers to ensure the continued function of our club, and the enjoyment of our members.  When communicating with officers, its important to have a clear goal in mind, and to work towards a constructive solution to projects or issues.  Several of the other education documents in the 100 series provide guidelines on the types of duties each office performs, good time management practices, how to hold meetings, how to file reports, and a particularly important document called ‘the Social Contract’.  The information conveyed in these lessons will provide a foundation for your work with other members and officers.