By Sandy Gough

I noticed an invitation to attend the IABC/Calgary open board meeting in The Current last month. Attending a board meeting isn’t usually something I’d do unless I had to, but I was curious.

IABC/Calgary Open Board Meeting, November 6, 2017 (image by Will Tigley)
IABC/Calgary Open Board Meeting, November 6, 2017 (image by Will Tigley)

I’ve been an IABC member for just over a year, and I’ve never belonged to a professional organization that is so active and enthusiastic. I wanted to see the executive in action, so I signed up for the November 6 event. As a bonus, the evening featured a talk on translating neuroscience into practical leadership behaviours and a free meal.

The meeting started with dinner – ribs and scalloped potatoes– delicious. Everyone had a seat at the table, just barely, two board members had to steal the receptionist’s chair for me. It was a full house.

After dinner, the guests moved to seats along the wall to observe while the board got down to business. Will Tigley, Past President, chaired the meeting. The current President, Angela Anderson, was home caring for her new baby so she had the night off. It’s clear this group works well together, everything ran according to the rules of order, and routine business was handled smoothly.

Rio Pisony, web analytics volunteer, gave an in-depth presentation analyzing the chapter’s social media statistics and levels of engagement on various platforms. There were a lot of numbers and charts, but the information was engaging and informative. It will be interesting to see how the executive use this information to develop social media engagement strategies over the next few months.

Slide Desk from Noesis Learning (image by Kristy Dixon)
Slide Desk from Noesis Learning (image by Kristy Dixon)

After the meeting, Wendi Meyer, past chapter president, current Principal + Lead Consulting Brain and Executive Coach with Noesis, gave an engaging talk on brain science. Cognitive neuroscience sounds technical, and maybe a bit dry, but Wendi grounded the research in real-life situations that affect the way we work together and how we lead teams. She focused on the 5 Core Social Needs – status, assurance, fairness, empathy, and thinking – and demonstrated how threats, or perceived threats, to any of these needs can trigger strong reactions. Reactions based on cognitive perceptions we don’t consciously control.

To be successful communicators, we need to take these automatic responses into account both when responding to new situations ourselves and when creating communications strategies in the workplace.

This was one of the most enjoyable – and informative – board meetings I’ve ever attended. You might want to give the next one a try if you’re looking for something to do after work.

The next IABC/Calgary open board meeting will be on the schedule before May 2018. Watch The Current for the announcement.

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