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October Notes from the Midlands Seneschal

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  • Caitriona MacDhonnachaidh
    Greetings unto the Populace of Midlands, from Caitriona MacDhonnachaidh, Midlands Seneschal.  As I wish this to find a larger number of readers, I am cross
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 7, 2010
      Greetings unto the Populace of Midlands, from Caitriona MacDhonnachaidh, Midlands Seneschal.  As I wish this to find a larger number of readers, I am cross posting extensively.  Therefore, kindly forgive the multiple copies.
      As we come into winter months, quarters are closer, events are numerous, and we tend to be in closer contact with the people in our group and others.  It is the time of artisans, planning and peaceful pursuits.  Personally, I look forward to the opportunity to put together a new doublet or two. 
      I have heard of a fair amount of factionalization in many locations and find this to be counter to our Society's goals of education.  So, take some time for introspection.   
      Look at yourself and your group, how you interact with each member of that group of people.  Are you overly dismissive of someone because they are not part of your particular group of friends, household, canton or shire?  Listen to ideas with closed eyes and tone-deaf ears.  By this, I mean, evaluate only the content of the message, not the person delivering it.  Questions you need to realistically answer:
          Is the proposal at hand good for the people involved, be it canton, barony, shire, fighters, scribes, cooks, weavers, the kingdom?  
          Does it promote growth and the educational mission of the Society? 
          Does it encourage the skills and involvement of enthusiastic people?
          What is the likelihood of success of a proposal?  Is there time to execute the proposal fully?
          If you don't like the proposal are you prepared to counter and take on the responsibility?  (If not, then you don't have room to gripe!)
          Is it going to be fun or help facilitate fun at some point?
      Put aside politics, look at both sides of a picture and try to empathize with one another.  Keep jealousy, mis-directed territoriality and dismissive behavior out of your dealings with group members.  The easiest way to do this is to empathize with the people you encounter.  Imagine yourself in their position.  Look further ahead to how they will feel if a pretty good idea is dismissed without a valid reason.  How would you feel? 
      Welcome the input of newer members.  Share responsibilities with willing new people.  You'd might be awfully surprised to find out "New to Your Group Guy" used to be "Former Kingdom Officer of Someplace Else with Amazing Skills and Enthusiasm".  Yeah, you'd feel pretty silly about that when you turned down the offer of help on your event advertisment when they turned out to be a professional ad designer, huh?  Remember when you were new?  What made you come back?  How were you treated?
      Avoid jumping to conclusions.  Speak plainly and be forthright, tempering your words with chivalry and compassion.  It is fine to disagree with someone as long as the disagreement is valid.  Keep venom from your speech.  It only leads to discontent.
      Finally, take the time to "reach across the aisle".  Greet people, everyone you come across at your meetings, with a smile.  Learn something from someone you don't normally work with in the group.  You might find a new friend.  Remember the Golden Rule.  And perhaps the Silver Rule too.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Golden_Rule
      Should you wish to discuss anything with me, regarding this topic, group dynamics or other Seneschal business, then feel free to contact me offlist at midlandssenschal@... or via cell at 618-830-2342.
      Play nice.  Share the Toys!
      THL Caitriona MacDhonnachaidh

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