Build a Happier Sorority or Fraternity this Year
Has your chapter been in a slump recently? Are members dreading coming to meetings…or not going to them altogether?
Is your retention on the struggle bus? Do few, if any, of your chapter members want to step up to be leaders?
If this is the case, then this post is for you.
As a clinical psychologist, recruitment advisor, and national volunteer for Chi Omega’s National Risk Management Committee (as well as a former National Leadership Consultant), let’s just say I’m all in when it comes to Greek life.
I’ve seen how incredible the experience as an active member can be…and I’ve also seen how challenging it is as well.
Let’s be real, being a member of a fraternity or a sorority—especially right now—is not always for the faint of heart. When there can be fair weather members who are just there for the good time, many of us want a lifelong experience of connection.
But what about when members aren’t connecting or worse—getting along? What about when members are burned out and disengaging?
Here’s what I recommend.
I’ve been researching happiness for over a decade and I’m sharing the top three ways that you can build a happier chapter.
These are easy tools to integrate, and you’ll notice a quick change in how members are responding. Let’s dive in.
I call these tools the Three Gs of Joy…any guesses on what the first one is?
And no…it’s not having “good looks,” (as an audience member once recommended).
It’s GOAL SETTING.
Studies show across the board that we become happier when we set more goals for ourselves and happier people in turn establish more plans for themselves.
Here’s the thing: it’s not actually important if you achieve your goal. Sure, it’s great if that happens—but the most important thing is that you’re willing to set the goal in the first place.
Because when you set a goal, you’re telling yourself a powerful message: that you believe in yourself and your potential. Imposter syndrome, be gone.
How do you integrate this in your chapter? Here are five quick strategies:
Invite chapter members to share in chapter meetings a goal that they’d like to work on. There is tremendous power in NAMING your plan.
Pair chapter members together who have a similar goal that they can work on together.
Utilize alumni or alumnae to serve as mentors for chapter members to help them achieve their goal.
Work on a list of three to five goals that you have as a chapter. Check at chapter meetings how progress is going.
Participate in a goal setting workshop together to set aside intentional time for this. I’d love to come visit you to support you with this!
The second G to practice?
Did you know that when we practice gratitude it can add seven years on average to our lives? Gratitude has a neurobiological effect that can’t be underestimated.
I call it The Five Daily Gratitudes.
Every time your chapter comes together, invite members to share something within the last 24 hours that they’re thankful for. Invite members to go for the details—the more specific, the better.
Because of the mirror neurons in our brains, you will see how immediately how impactful this is for your chapter members. When we see a brother or sister expressing joy, we feel that same feeling within ourselves.
And the last element?
When we serve, we almost always feel a sense of joy because we’ve been able to help in some way.
Lean into service this semester. Whether it’s working on your philanthropy, attending the philanthropies of other chapters, or volunteering with other local organizations you’re passionate about, this will give your chapter a morale boost like no other.
You deserve to experience joy in your chapter experience, as do your fellow members.
If you’re in a slump or your chapter is struggling to come together, let’s change that.
I’d be honored to visit your campus this semester and spread some of that joy. Happiness boost guaranteed.