Commander’s Corner

Commander Chip Kossow


Participation, friendship, sharing, involvement, association, or connection are some of the synonyms of engagement. Whichever word you prefer, it is the best way to make someone feel welcome and part of the team. The Legion is a veteran service organization of wartime veterans. Unofficially we are a social organization. We work together to serve our veterans, families, and our communities. Engagement is a must to keep the team effective.

 Colorado just passed the 55% membership target date successfully with 55.42%. We have attained both targets so far this year. This is good, But we need to ensure we are in contact with all our members to continue on this path. There is a direct correlation to engagement and perceived value. A member won’t stay a member if they think they are not valuable.

The Buddy Check is a great tool for members, former members, and nonmember veterans. The free tool kit can be downloaded at publications/247460/buddy-check-event-toolkit. The kit has program info, organization ideas, and sample scripts to help develop the conversation. This effective program can help develop communications skills, spread the word of Post activities, create new friendships, and spread good will among our veteran community.

A productive Post is active in the community, involves the family, and I would add communicates well with its members. The Post’s elected officers are temporary (as they should be), but an effective Post continually stays active and in touch no matter which officers are in place. Social media is a method of letting people know what you’re up to, but only for the people who are also part of the platform. Emails and newsletters get information out if people take the time to read them. None of these are true interaction except for brief comments and emojis. Interaction is talking with someone face to face or at least on the phone.

Here are some basics to the contact; 1) Leave your contact info if they don’t answer. 2) Thank them for their service and being a continued supporter of the Legion. 3) Listen when they talk! Effective listening is key to a good conversation. You have two ears and one mouth. You should use them proportionally. Some people are more introverted, and you may need to use leading questions to engage them. Keep eye contact (if in person) and an open mind to hear what the speaker is actually saying. Ask clarifying question but wait for an opening and do not interrupt. Don’t be quick to offer solutions. Many times, the speaker already knows the answer and just wants someone to listen. Try to feel what the person is feeling and pay attention to the nonverbal cues and their tone. Not all of the message is contained in the words.

Please keep in communication with all your people. Contact should be continual. This will create an “Us” atmosphere and develop the familial relationship.

God Bless our veterans, their families, and the United States of America!

Chip Kossow






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