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As we begin a new semester (or trimester) of school, you might be returning with a new officer board position! Congratulations, on your new leadership role. You also might be returning to a virtual environment for your campus as well as the chapter. While we have gotten used to the virtual environment, there are still new, unexpected challenges that come up. Having strong communication and a tight-knit officer board will help you get through anything that comes up, especially when we can’t physically be meeting. Check out the list below for ideas you can implement throughout the semester to start off strong and continue to grow your officer’s connection.

Take A Leadership-Style Quiz

Communication, especially during virtual operations of a chapter, is key. During one of your first officer meetings, encourage the officer board to take a leadership style quiz in advance, such as Myers Briggs or the Enneagram. Not only is it fun, but it’s also useful for your board to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses when it comes to working together. During the meeting, you all can discuss how others can communicate with you and also outline the skills and strengths you can provide to others.

Ask Get-to-Know-You Questions

Trust is built through small exercises where you learn about one another. A simple, and fun, way to learn about one another in daily activities is by having 10-20 “get-to-know-you” questions at the ready for officer meetings. Pick a selection of both fun, deep and serious questions to mix up the standard “how was your weekend?” question we often resort to. You’ll form a deeper connection by getting to know one another, which will then translate to your productivity and trust as a chapter officer board. 

Let’s Eat

Once a month try to host a pre-meeting where the officer board hosts a “lunch hour” where you all can attend, eat, laugh and have casual conversations. It could be chapter related, or it could just be talks about life. With this virtual environment, we lose the in-person interaction we once had and additionally lose its benefits of keeping us connected. If you’re open to the idea, do this activity with your chapter, too. Making it an open invite to hang out without the pressure of a mandatory event or chapter meeting. 

Virtual Documents

When members hold a new position, they often receive a binder filled with past officer’s advice and an outline of the role. Since you probably don’t have that as it’s sitting in your closed chapter facility – start by making the digital copy of those resources now! Spend the time to open your Google Drive and start making virtual documents that you can share, rather than relying on a physical binder to help you accomplish your officer responsibilities. Start with outlining your role, those important contacts for you (advisor, university staff) and gradually build onto it as you become more accustomed to the role. 

Navigating a new officer role can be challenging, especially when you’re in a virtual environment like we are now. Just keep in mind your officer board, advisors, and university staff are there to help you. Utilize the resources you have virtually and have open communication with your fellow officers and advisors. Though this role might look a little different than you imagined, you will still do a great job and serve your chapter! 

Written by Alicia Cauthen

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