A fellow club member is always promoting his company’s service to members at every meeting. Your club wants to provide opportunities for business networking because you realize that it is a benefit of Rotary, but some members have been complaining of feeling pressured. What would you do?
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3 thoughts on “Ethical dilemma discussion: What would you do?”
It is fair to communicate about your business, but Rotary is not BNI. I would invite this friend to set up a steering committee evaluating and setting up business networking opportunities. Activities within the club as well as with outsiders, which can be a nice way to attract future Rotarians. Each club gathering, with a business 5′ or 10′ pitch for one active Rotarian could be part of the solution.
High performing organisations deal with potential conflict openly and quickly – and this is potential conflict. I would encourage the members who are feeling pressured to have the critical conversation directly with the fellow member themselves. They should explain to the member how the constant promotion makes them feel and explore ways with the member to change the behaviour. Critical conversations are not easy and there is coaching or online guidance available for the members to prepare. Always look for a better outcome for you, the other person, and your club.
I would encourage business networking but at an appropriate place and time. If anyone wishes to promote their business, they can advertise in the Club’s bulletin or newsletter for a fee. That way the Club is able to raise funds and a proper venue is established for promoting one’s business. I would discourage then any form of advertisement or promotion outside this venue. Other ways this can be allowed is for example by providing free promotional materials to Club members such as say, wine (for wine sellers) for events, ballpens for club activities with company logos.,etc. but subject to prior approval by the Club’s Board or President.