Bad trade associations. Now what does that mean? I am referring to those that complain about their pco or wco trade association. They will say, “I won’t join that trade association because they don’t do anything.” That trade association just takes my money, etc. etc. Now I am not going to tell you that there are no bad trade associations. I am sure there are. I am simply going to ask, are you sure that your criticism is valid? In other words, wouldn’t it be a good idea to give the leadership of the trade association the benefit of the doubt before launching into a litany reasons why you think they are bad?
In my experience with trade associations, criticisms fall into three categories.
Some conflicts between members/non-members and association staff/leadership occur because the association has different priorities than the member/non-member. This should be immediately apparent but is often forgotten. The individual has a specific issue that he/she would like solved. But the association is dealing with threatening regulation that could eliminate a pesticide class or trapping method. One could say, “Why doesn’t the association handle both?” A fair question but everyone should understand that most associations are small and underfunded. So tasks/issues must be prioritized.
Bottom Line: Before criticizing that your issue hasn’t been dealt with have you considered all the issues facing the association?
Different Time Frames
Another conflict between members/non-members and association leadership relates to time frames. In other words, how long it takes to achieve a desired goal. Business owners are used to fast decision making. The problem is in an association it takes a committee to make decisions. So think about how to get several type A personalities together to make a decision? Not always pretty. Committees are always slower than individuals, even when the committee functions well.
Bottom Line: Before criticizing the association’s inaction, make sure you have given it enough time to follow through.
Different personalities refers to the tension that arise from how different people deal with controversial topics. Think Myers-Briggs. Some people are analytical, others are global, some make fast decisions, some make very slooow decisions. These differences create conflicts. Sometimes, the conflicts in personality become so big that they become an ego competition that surpasses the level of the original dispute. The original issue was forgotten and the dispute turns to, “He insulted me……..” etc. etc.
Bottom Line: Before you criticize the association or its leadership, have you considered whether your dispute is over issues or is it over ego and personality.Stephen M. Vantassel, CWCP, ACE, is the owner of Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. He helps people restore their balance with nature through publishing, training, consulting, and the internet. He has published numerous articles in trade and academic publications (http://kingsdivinity.academia.edu/StephenMVantassel) along with several books (https://wildlifecontrolconsultant.com/store-2/). Listen to his podcast at PestGeek Podcast (https://pestgeekpodcast.com/). He is a sought after speaker and trainer. If you would like to have Stephen speak at your event or use his consultation services, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Copyright All postings are the property of Stephen M. Vantassel and Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. Text (not images) may be reprinted in non-profit publications provided that the author and website URL is included. If images wish to be used, explicit and written permission must be obtained from Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC.