One of the things we know for certain at WhatFriendsDo is that the most successful teams have really great team organizers. Here are tips and things to keep in mind when choosing an organizer for your team.
1. Choose someone other yourself.
The whole point point of setting up a WhatFriendsDo team is so that you can focus on your recovery while your team of supporters take care of you. So, let your friends help and take this time to focus on you! We know it's really hard.
2. Choose someone not in your immediate family.
As an extension of #1, you should also relinquish control (yes, if this applies to you, you may be a bit of a control freak) of the team if you are helping someone in your immediate family, like your child or your spouse. Your attention and energy needs to be on helping your family and keeping your own sanity. [This is not so much the case with adult siblings or parents, although it is still nice to have some backup when so much of your time will be spent helping.] For some strange reason, it just works best when someone else is asking for help on your behalf. Think about it. You see someone on social media asking for money for themselves and think it's tacky and maybe even a bit sketchy. Your friend makes a plea for a co-worker with a health crisis and the next thing you know, you've donated $25 to a stranger. Don't ask me what it is but it's some strange psychology and we see it time and again.
3. Choose someone who is organized.
Choose someone organized to be your team organizer - novel isn't it? Your BFF may be smart, kind, hilarious and loving, but that may not always be the best team organizer (and that's OK). Everyone who wants to support you will have an opportunity to do so once you get the right team organizer in place. And, don't feel obligated to choose someone to avoid hurting feelings. This is the time to absolutely put yourself first and you should pick someone who is organized [otherwise known as Type A] and not afraid to tell people what to do and what NOT to do. This brings me to #4.
4. Choose someone who is a little bossy.
At WhatFriendsDo, we often say that sometimes it's more important to tell people what NOT to do. That may not sound too hard, but it often can be for the friend in need. Try telling someone you don't want another tuna casserole or that you don't really want visitors. We once had a team where a male team member signed up to help with an overnight shift for a woman who just had a double mastectomy. AWKWARD. While it was a very uncomfortable situation for the friend who had the surgery, for the organizer, it wasn't awkward at all. It was just a matter of a kind note and removing that task from the calendar. The most well intentioned helpers often end up helping in ways that aren't helpful. The right team organizer will direct your team of supporters to help in ways that are both helpful and meaningful.
5. Choose someone who is a good communicator.
Our best team organizers are the ones who communicate regularly with their friend's team. We all want to help and when asked, we are happy to do it. Then, life gets busy, we go on with our daily routines and often forget help is still needed. Without regular updates and reminders, the ongoing help and support needed just won't happen. We need to be prompted to check the calendar, read the team updates, and make a purchase from the team care registry.
There are plenty of roles for all of your different types of supporters to play, and by choosing the right team organizer, each will be able to help in a way that works for them. Some will be hands-on helpers and bring you home cooked meals, mow your grass and cover carpool. Others will send gift cards, bring you carry out food, and stay updated by reading your blog.
The beauty of setting up a WhatFriendsDo team is that your network of supporters get to help according to their comfort level, their budget and their schedule. Because you've asked (via your team organizer), for specific ways to help, your team will know what they are doing is wanted and needed, and you won't have to deal with friends helping in ways that aren't really helpful (like bringing casseroles you don't like or popping in unannounced).